Many of the widely circulated images from the Boston Marathon bombing Monday -- scenes of chaos, shock, injury and heroism -- will be forever engrained in American's minds: Jeff Bauman Jr., the 27-year-old seen in a wheelchair with his lower legs blasted off; the young boy with blood splattered on his head, which Time put on its cover; and Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy hat-wearing hero who sprang into action to help victims.
Another widely-seen image, of a stunned blonde woman propping herself up on the bloody ground, has many wondering what happened to her.
The woman is Nicole Gross, from Charlotte, N.C., and she is about to undergo her fourth surgery stemming from the bombing, according to the Charlotte Observer.
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Gross, a 31-year-old personal trainer, was with her husband, Michael Gross, and sister, Erika Brannock, in Boston to watch her mother, Carol Downing, run her first marathon. According to the Times and Democrat, the trio was stationed near the finish line to snap a photo of Downing as she crossed the finish line. However, just before Downing made it, the first bomb exploded within just a few feet of where they were standing. Shortly after was when the photo of Gross, sitting stunned and bloody with her clothes ripped and missing one of her sneakers, was snapped (and eventually became the Tuesday cover of the New York Daily News, among other newspapers).
The explosion resulted in two breaks in her left leg, an ankle fracture in her right, a severed Achilles’ tendon and multiple wounds for Gross. Her mother told the Charlotte Observer that she will undergo her fourth surgery on Thursday.
"She remembers it all and just wishes that she didn't,” her mother told the Charlotte Observer.
Gross' husband had third-degree burns on his head, face and arms, as well as lacerations, his brother Michael told TheTandD.com. And Brannock's injuries were so serious she had to have her leg amputated below the knee and is still in critical condition.
“It’s scary and frightening, and you can’t believe it’s happening to your family,” Michael’s brother, Brian Gross, said. “The family wanted to get together to celebrate to support Carol.”