Nightly News   |  July 11, 2013

Boston bombing survivor: ‘You can’t be negative about it’

Spectator Jeff Bauman, who was watching the Boston Marathon from the sidelines, lost both of his legs after being wounded in the bombing. He formed a lasting friendship with the man who helped save him: Carlos Arredondo, and maintains an astoundingly positive attitude. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, our conversation in boston just yesterday with boston marathon bombing victim, jeff bauman, it's now been almost three months exactly since that awful day and that awful scene. before we knew the name of either man, we first saw bauman as the young man being kept alive by the guy alongside of him, the cowboy hat . we didn't know them yet, we do now. they've become close and spoken every day since then. and their bond is readily apparent when they get together.

>> he was the one that picked me up off the ground.

>> reporter: these two men were thrown together by fate in a moment preserved forever in a graphic and gripping photo that showed carlos arredondo keeping jeff alive as the life threatened to drain from his body. his life was saved, and a friendship was born. and without him, there is no you.

>> no. and many others as well.

>> a lot of great people helped me out that day.

>> reporter: out there, boylston street , jeff , a spectator. his girlfriend in the race. carlos, a costa rican born peace activist who lost two sons, one to suicide, the other to combat in iraq, and the two men now mean the world to one another.

>> every time i see him now, so uplifting, so concerned with how i'm doing, how i'm feeling, and he's amazing.

>> i'm so glad i'm seeing this beautiful young man healing so well, you know, with the support of family and friends.

>> reporter: and this being boston , there is such a thing as sports therapy. and because sports is important in life, your bruins had a great year, sox, we'll see. and the patriots we'll see.

>> sox are first.

>> i know, i know, but it's early. it's july. jeff got to throw out the first pitch at fenway and invited on hallowed ice at a bruins game.

>> seeing like 20,000 people yelling for and you clapping, pretty intense.

>> reporter: just three weeks ago, jeff took his first steps with the help of his new prosthetics.

>> reporter: what have you learned about the resilience of the human body ?

>> it's crazy. it's really tough. it's insane. i mean, i'm a quick healer. they were calling me wolverine, that guy that heals really quick.

>> reporter: how do you remain so positive about your recovery?

>> i just figure you can't be negative about it. why sit and be negative and be sad and depressed. you've got to push everything to the side and just focus on just getting better.

>> reporter: his attitude is astoundingly positive, always pushing forward, always looking toward, and the people who have cheered himself on, strangers, ordinary americans, have made an enormous difference.

>> i love reading the letters. someone took the time out of their day and thought about writing a hand-written letter to me. it shows how great people are.

>> an incredible story of grit and perseverance from boston . one of so many since the bombing three months ago.