Publication Date: April 8, 2014
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When Jeff Bauman woke up on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was try to speak. When he realized he couldn't, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: "Saw the guy. Looked right at me," setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history.
Just thirty hours before, Jeff had been at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on his girlfriend, Erin, when the first bomb went off at his feet. As he was rushed to the hospital, he realized he was severely injured and that he might die, but he didn't know that a photograph of him in a wheelchair was circulating throughout the world, making him the human face of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, or that what he'd seen would give the Boston police their most important breakthrough.
Up until the marathon, Jeff had been a normal 27-year-old guy, looking forward to moving in with Erin and starting the next phase of their lives together. But when his life was turned upside down in ways he could never have fathomed, Jeff did not give up. Instead he faced his new circumstances with grace, humor, and a sense of purpose: he was determined, no matter what, to walk again.
In STRONGER, Jeff describes the chaos and terror of the bombing itself and the ongoing FBI investigation in which he was a key witness. He takes us inside his grueling rehabilitation, and discusses his attempt to reconcile the world's admiration with his own guilt and frustration. And he tells of the courage of his fellow survivors. Brave, compassionate, and emotionally compelling, Jeff Bauman's story is not just his, but ours as well. It proves that the terrorists accomplished nothing with their act of cowardice and shows the entire world what Boston Strong really means.
Jeff Bauman was an ordinary twenty-seven year old, with a job, a girlfriend and a love of sports, when a bomb took both his legs near the Boston Marathon finish line. A famous photograph taken at the scene, and his vital role in identifying the bomber from his intensive care hospital bed, made him the face of the tragedy, but it is his determination, humor and positive attitude that has inspired millions. Jeff Bauman lives in the Boston suburb of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. www.jeffbaumanstrong.com.
Bret Witter has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold more than two million copies worldwide. He lives in Decatur, Georgia. www.bretwitter.com.
"A moving demonstration of how strength of mind and character helped one man stand tall despite the loss of his legs."