Joy for Boston bombing survivor as he welcomes ‘happy and healthy’ baby

By Lydia Warren Daily Mail

Jeff Baumann, Erin Hurley and their daughter Nora

Jeff Baumann, Erin Hurley and their daughter Nora

Boston bombing survivor Jeff Bauman and his fiancée Erin Hurley have welcomed a baby daughter.

The proud first-time parents announced their news on Facebook on Monday afternoon by sharing an image showing them grinning over the newborn.

‘Jeff and Erin are proud to announce the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Nora Gail Bauman, born 7/13/14,’ the caption read. ‘Everyone is happy and healthy!’

The birth of baby Nora – just a day earlier than her due date – comes 15 months after Bauman, 28, lost both of his legs in the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Bauman was at the race to cheer along Erin and was standing near the finish line when the bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring hundreds.

In a now-iconic image, an ashen-faced Bauman was photographed being wheeled to medical attention by three rescuers – including ‘the man in the Cowboy hat’, Carlos Arredondo.

As well as losing his legs, Bauman suffered black eyes and cuts, second degree burns to his back, burns around his eyes and both eardrums had ruptured.

After the bombings, Bauman underwent multiple surgeries and was fitted with often-painful prosthetics as he slowly learned to walk again – and became a key witness for the FBI as he remembered seeing one of the Boston bombers before the explosions.

But since his surgeries, Bauman has gone from strength to strength – announcing his engagement and the pregnancy in February, and returning to work at Costco last month.

In an earlier post on his Facebook page, he was pictured wearing a name tag and smiling alongside two colleagues as he stands behind a cash register while lightly holding his crutches.

A caption on the photo read: ‘Jeffrey back at work today! W/Mike & Maya @#Costco!’

‘I could not have made it through the past year without the support of my friends and mentors at Costco,’ he said in a statement. ‘This company means so much to me and my family, and I’m very excited to be back.’

It is not clear if Bauman has returned full-time to the Nashua, New Hampshire store, where he worked for three years before the bombings – but well-wishers on the page congratulated him on his return.

‘Was thrilled to see Jeff back to work!’ one wrote alongside the picture. ‘Big smiles throughout Costco on the faces of all the employees as well as the members! Welcome back, Jeff!!!’

In another show of his progress, last month he also shared a photograph to the Facebook page of him driving Arredondo on Memorial Day.

In a book he released earlier this year, ‘Stronger’, he credits his family and colleagues with saving his emotional health, but in particular, he credits Erin with getting him through.

‘I tend to think tragedy gives you perspective,’ he wrote. ‘Who can I be honest with, without being afraid of their reaction? The answer always came up Erin.’

He also fostered a close relationship with Arredondo, who attended sports games with him and often visited him in hospital.

The men were side-by-side at the finishing line of this year’s Boston Marathon – and last month, they were both given honorary degrees from Fisher College, where they delivered this year’s commencement speech.

Arredondo and his wife lost both of their sons – one to a sniper in Iraq and the other to suicide – and have said that the bombings have allowed them a second chance at family.

‘Jeff and Erin, they fill a place – they never could never replace Alex or Brian – but having them in our lives eases things,’ Melida Arredondo said. ‘It helps, and we just enjoy spending time together.’

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