April 21, 2014 was an important day for many around the world, but particularly the people of Boston. The 21st marked the 2014 Boston Marathon, just a few days after the April 15 one-year anniversary of the 2013 bombing. For Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, it marked another important milestone; the day they finished the Marathon handcycle race in just over two hours, crossing the finish line hand in hand.
Jessica and Patrick had been married a scant seven months on the day they decided to go watch the end of the Marathon on Boylston street. They were among the estimated 264 people injured that day, both needing to have their left legs amputated below the knee. They were so similarly wounded because Jessica was standing behind Patrick, arms wrapped around her husband. Immediately following the blast, Jessica, a nurse, was able to gather her wits enough to make a tourniquet for Patrick out of the straps of her purse.
This couple has had to endure endless months of doctor's appointments, learning to use prosthetics, and moving from their Cambridge home to live with Jessica's sister, who moved from California to become their primary caregiver as they learn to maneuver their new life. But their love kept them strong, kept them united, and we are confident will keep them together for many years to come.