Boston marathon bombing victim who lost leg in attack when she was 7 – and whose brother, 8, was youngest victim – gives first interview a decade after massacre and says she can no longer remember murdered sibling
- Jane Richard, 17, lost her left leg below the knee when she was just seven years old during the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013
- Her brother Martin, eight, died in the massacre. He was the youngest of the three victims that died
- She no longer remembers Martin, but says she’s ‘almost grateful, because if I had more memories, it might be more painful’
Jane Richard no longer has memories of her brother Martin – who was the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing – nor does she remember a time when she didn’t walk without a prosthesis.
Jane, 17, lost her left leg below the knee when she was just seven years old.
She still remembers the April 15, 2013, explosion, as well as the panicked search for her father before she passed out, waking up in an ambulance to find her leg was mostly gone, and all 14 surgeries she endured within the short span of 39 days.
These memories resurface for her every day as she now has to strap on a prothesis in order to walk.
‘I think about what happened every time I put my leg on,’ she told the Boston Globe in the first interview she’s ever gave on the attack.
Despite all the pain and suffering she remembers from the brutal terrorist attack that killed three people, she no longer has memories of her brother Martin, who died at the age of eight during the bombing.
‘It makes me sad to say I can’t really remember him,’ she said. ‘But I’m almost grateful, because if I had more memories, it might be more painful.’
Jane Richard, 17, lost her left leg below the knee when she was just seven years old during the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013
She still remembers the April 15, 2013 explosion, as well as, the panicked search for her father before she passed out, waking up in an ambulance to find her leg was mostly gone, and all 14 surgeries she endured within the short span of 39 days
Jane is seen laying in the street (bottom right) after the explosion in 2013
Since his death, she has gotten a ‘peace’ tattoo on her wrist in Martin’s handwriting, taken from a poster board he made.
Her brother Henry, who was 11 when the attack happened and now lives in Manhattan, can’t say the same. Although he escaped being injured by shrapnel, he still remembers everything about that fateful day.
‘It’s definitely an emotional year,’ he told the Globe. ‘It was hard to see my family go through so much. Me being so healthy, it felt like I had to be there for them as much as possible.’
He was the only one to escape physically unscathed, as Jane lost her leg, their father now suffers from tinnitus, and their mother lost sight in her right eye.
At the time of the bombing, the family had unknowingly been standing just feet away from terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – who is currently housed at ADX Florence in Colorado, which is where the most dangerous criminals are locked up in the US.
Henry, now 21, went on to run the Boston Marathon last year and is preparing to run in the race again this year. He will be running with MR8 – the family’s team, which has raised millions for their foundation the Martin Richard Foundation.
Despite all the pain and suffering she remembers from the brutal terrorist attack that killed three people, she no longer has memories of her brother Martin (pictured), who died at the age of eight during the bombing. ‘It makes me sad to say I can’t really remember him,’ she said
At the time of the bombing, the family (pictured: Martin circled in blue) had unknowingly been standing just feet away from terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (circled in red)
The family pictured with a priest in 2015. Henry, pictured center, has gone on to run the marathon and plans to run a second time this year
This year, the roaster is filled with not only Martin’s brother, but his father and three of his former third grade classmates. It will be the last year the family will field a team, the Boston Globe reported.
The family also kept Martin’s memory alive through storytelling. Jane has learned a lot about her late brother through her mother’s storying. Denise, who talks about her son daily.
She remembers hearing a story about the time her brother placed a crown on his head and declared: ‘I look good as king’ while they visited Storyland, an amusement park in New Hampshire.
The family also remembers Martin sounding older than he was by saying things like ‘stick with me’ while Jane was struggling with her math homework one day.
Her parents have also reiterated stories to Jane about her time in the hospital, such as when CNN’s Anderson Cooper sent her a teddy bear and she didn’t know who he was, telling the nurses: ‘Who’s Anderson Cooper? I don’t know anyone named Anderson Cooper.’
She also learned that she was in a medically-induced coma for two weeks while inside the ICU at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and how Henry would read her favorite Elephant & Piggie books with a fake Southern accent.
Jane hit it out of the park last night! Check out her singing the national anthem to honor Dustin Pedroia’s final farewell from Fenway!
Jane is ready to ditch the Boston Strong image and focus on her future, including her singing career – where she’s had the honor of singing the National Anthem twice at Fenway Park (pictured in 2021) – and running for student body president
Ten years after the tragedy Jane said she is ready to let go of being the symbol of Boston Strong – a phrase and movement that sprouted from the horrific event.
‘Obviously this is always going to be a part of who I am,’ she told the Globe. ‘I’m still going to be grieving, because you don’t stop grieving something like this. But I’m ready to start my own story.’
She is focusing on her music and has already sung the National Anthem twice at Fenway Park. She was also gifted a hand-painted guitar from singer-songwriter and global popstar Taylor Swift after the attack, which she has hanging in her basement next to her drum set.
She was also asked to sing the anthem at Opening Day for the Red Sox, but her parents declined the offer, they told the Globe.
The highschooler also manages the boys’ baseball team, and the is running for student body president. Currently a junior, she said she’s also considering a career in journalism or politics.
Her brother Henry (left) ran in the Boston Marathon last year for the first time and plans on running on the family’s team again this year with his father and three of Martin’s former third grade classmates
‘Jane Richard, 2024 — for president. Or queen of the world,’ she joked.
In a few years, Jane plans on attending college like Henry, who is a business management major at Pace University.
As for now, Jane may need another surgery on her leg after getting an infection recently, but just like when she was seven, she won’t let it get the best of her.
And she still enjoys watching the Boston Marathon and cheering her brother on.
‘If I let what happened to me 10 years ago take the fun out of something that I once loved, I would be letting my younger self down,’ she told the Globe. ‘I love seeing everyone out there, and it brings me joy, which is probably the complete opposite of what everyone would expect.’
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