Just prior to that fateful phone call, Liz Norden had been lugging groceries into her Massachusetts home. Seconds later, her life — and the lives of two of her sons — changed forever.
“Ma, I’m hurt real bad,” Norden’s 31-year-old son said from an ambulance en route to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to The Boston Globe.
Norden’s son, who had gone with his older brother to watch a friend compete in the Boston Marathon, said his legs were badly burned in an explosion. His brother had been next to him, the newspaper reports, but they were no longer together.
Norden, a mother of five, would learn within the next two hours that each of her sons had lost a leg from the knee down in the bombings. She declined to release their names without talking to them first, but both are graduates of Stoneham High School and had been laid off recently from their roofing jobs. The elder brother, 33, still lives in Stoneham; the younger in Wakefield.
“I’d never imagined in my wildest dreams this would ever happen,” Norden told the newspaper from outside the Beth Israel Deaconess emergency room late Monday. “I feel sick. I think I could pass out.”
The girlfriend of Norden’s younger son also suffered serious burns and other injuries in the attack. She was hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center.
Norden, meanwhile, had braced herself for the moment when she would be allowed to see her sons, who were apparently standing next to the 8-year-old boy who died in the blast. As FBI officials and local police left the hospital late Monday, Norden sank her head onto the shoulder of her brother-in-law. A relative then approached, handing her Tylenol she had asked him to buy at a nearby pharmacy.
“Thank you,” she said before burying her face in her hands.