Marathon victim Jarrod Clowery: ‘We’re going to come out of this better’

Jarrod Clowery’s legs and hands were badly burned and, in places, shredded by shrapnel from the second explosion at the Boston Marathon. To distract himself from the pain as he awaited painkillers and treatment in the emergency department of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he began watching the nurses and doctors working frenetically around him.

“They’re moving seamlessly,” he recounted during a press conference at the hospital Tuesday afternoon. “They know what each other’s thinking ... I’ve never seen, in all the years in New England, Tom Brady put a drive together that is as good as what these people are doing.”

The 35-year-old carpenter went on: “No disrespect to Tom Brady. I love him, you know? He can’t hold a candle to the people I just mentioned.”

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Clowery is one of five men who grew up together in Stoneham who were injured in the bombing. Another friend from Stoneham, Jacqui Webb, was seriously hurt in the blast. Sarah Schweitzer and Patricia Wen told their story in Monday’s Boston Globe.

The friends, who have been treated at several Boston hospitals, are expected to be reunited at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. On Tuesday, 31-year-old Paul Norden, who lost a leg, was taken to Spaulding. His 33-year-old brother, J.P., who also lost a leg and who had additional surgery on Tuesday, is expected to go there when released from the Brigham. Clowery is scheduled to be transferred there on Wednesday.

Clowery was jumping over a guard rail, trying to get away from Boylston Street’s crowded sidewalk after the first bomb went off, when the second one exploded about three feet from him.

Trauma surgeon Dr. Robert Riviello said at the press conference that he has removed a dozen carpenter nails from Crowley’s body, along with several BBs and other pieces of debris, such as bits of denim. Another 20 or so BBs remain, Riviello said. While his body will push some to the surface on its own, Clowery likely will need more surgeries, the surgeon said.

Clowery said his family and his girlfriend have supported him throughout the two weeks, keeping him company during the nights when he hasn’t wanted to be alone and being patient when he has been “moody” as he grapples with his injuries and his memories of that day. He said he has drawn strength from his friends, three of whom lost limbs.

“My friends are strong guys, just tough as nails,” he said. “They think—they know how we’re going to come out of this better. They don’t have any guilt, and they’re teaching me not to have any guilt either.”

He said he has been touched by the support from the broader public, too: “I don’t know how I would ever be able to thank everybody, but I’m going to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out.”