Boston Newlyweds Face Amputation Rehab — Together

Only the most seriously injured of the 188 marathon bombing patients remain hospitalized.  Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky Downes are among them.  The couple was cheering runners near the finish line Monday when the explosions threw them apart. Patrick and Jessica both lost the lower part of their left leg.

Patrick and Jessica Kensky Downes from Jessica's Facebook page

Patrick and Jessica Kensky Downes from Jessica’s Facebook page

Friends are having a hard time reconciling this news with memories of the joyful pair who married just last August.  Smiles in photos of Jessica and Patrick jump off the screen.

“But that’s not just a photograph,” says Leslie Kelly, who watched Jessica grow up just outside Sacramento.  “Those two are the happiest, most optimistic, wonderful people,” continues Kelly, which provides “a real good foundation for both of them going forward.”

Jessica’s right foot was also badly damaged in the blast, but the family has told friends it looks like she’ll be able to keep it. And Patrick’s third surgery went well. Family members declined requests for an interview, but a few friends are sharing their story.

“When Patrick came to, he asked if the Red Sox had won,” says Boston College buddy Tom Treacy. “It sounded like they were certainly in good spirits.”

Friends and strangers have donated more than $500,000 in four days to help the couple cope with whatever comes next.

“They do know that people out there are coming together for them and I think it’s really helped them,” says Kelly who set up one of two online funds.  “They’re very courageous.”

Patrick and Jessica were taken to different hospitals, but have spoken by phone. Both work in health care. Jessica, 32, is a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital. Patrick, 29, is finishing a graduate degree at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

“We are praying for him and will support him in any way we can as he regains his strength and is able to return to his studies,” says the school’s president, Dr. Nicholas Covino, in a statement,

Friends posting messages to the couple remind them they still have strong minds, bodies and arms for hugging. Some offer dinners. Others urge Patrick and Jessica, who are both runners, to get back on the road with expected prosthetic legs. Treacy, from Manhattan, is among the friends headed to Boston to help map the coming weeks, months and years.

“Given where we are,” says Treacy, “and the fact that we’re only four days into what’s going to be a pretty long road, I think there are a lot of reasons to be positive.”

Not the least of which, adds Treacy, is that Patrick and Jessica will face rehab, and all the challenges of the future, together.

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  • Obie Fitz, Boston, MA

    Patrick & Jessica- May you receive the services, support and love you will need so that, one day, you will celebrate your 50th anniversary together. Since you’re Bostonians now, always remember: “Boston Strong!” You inspire us.

  • Laura

    I wish them the best, it makes me so angry, this should not have happened!

  • Theresa Smith

    Hi you don’t me but I want to send prayers and hugs stay strong! Love from Piqua,Ohio

  • MJ Kropf

    Living your lives in a spirit of continued grace and cheer is enough triumph over the Evil of the world to justify its resumption.
    You have apparently been a source of inspiration and an example for many around you. May you go on, as a couple and each in your roles, to remain as much a standard for how life may be lead, when done to its best.

  • Marc Chamot

    This is so tragic, all about LOVE…..This should bond their relationship even better….God Bless them both….

  • art aficionado

    How evil do you have to be to kill and maim neighbors you grew up with ? They were normal until somebody recruited them.

    • Hoang Nguyen

      Or maybe deep inside them there was a sleeping evil waiting to be waken up.

      • Brennan Moriarty

        Such… could happen to anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time. [and] Then it’s civilizations that’s asleep.

  • Amelia C Burkhart

    Keep those smiles and stand by one another and you will get through. Peace

  • Jesus M Rojas Torres

    sending out my prayers for your prompt recovery

  • gardenia

    May your physical and emotional wounds heal completely.

  • Amy Bruno Gezon

    sending thoughts of peace light and healing from Salt Lake City.