Pictured in his white cowboy hat rushing horrifically injured Boston bombing survivor Jeff Bauman away from the finishing line, Carlos Arredondo is one half of possibly the most iconic image from that fateful day in April.
The Costa Rican native became the face of ‘Boston Strong’, as the proud city battled to recover from the scars left by the two Tsarnaev brothers.
But behind the bravado, Arredondo was and still is fighting his own demons, the hero of Boston tortured by the anguish caused by the deaths of his two young sons and how that pain propelled him to help Bauman as he lay bleeding on the floor.
‘I told him to hold on,’ Carlos said of the moment he ran to help the injured and saw Bauman lying on the floor with only protruding bones where his legs once were.
‘He looked very pale. I thought he was going to die.’
Carlos didn’t know his name was Jeff at that moment – he only knew that he looked young enough to be Alex, the son he lost in Iraq, or Brian, his boy who tragically killed himself in the years after that.
The selfless bravery the 52-year-old showed that day on Boylston Street was captured forever by Associated Press photographer Charles Krupa – his image of Jeff Bauman’s ashen face and Carlos in his white cowboy hat splashed across the front pages of the world’s papers.
Within that one flash of a picture, photogenic Carlos was instantly propelled to fame and hungry reporters began to delve into the hero’s life – discovering his dark struggle.
They discovered that Carlos has endured two divorces, suffers severe depression and is bi-polar and of course lost his two sons.