Jeff, 27, is a good kid, never got in trouble, his father said. He likes playing guitar. He works behind the deli counter at Costco. He plans to pay off his student loans and go back to school at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
During the marathon, he was standing at the finish line waiting for Ms. Hurley, alongside her two roommates. Ms. Hurley was still about a mile away when the blasts went off, far enough away that she did not know what had happened. Why had everyone stopped?
Jeff was the first casualty brought to Boston Medical, his family was told. He went through the first operation and then a second, about 1 a.m., to drain internal fluids caused by the blunt trauma.
That night, Jeff’s half-brother, Alan, called from his boot camp at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. His father told him Jeff had been hurt but did not say how badly. He planned to tell Alan the whole truth later.
The Baumans knew how lucky Jeff had been. “The man in the cowboy hat — he saved Jeff’s life,” Ms. Bauman said. Mr. Bauman’s eyes widened. He said: “There’s a video where he goes right to Jeff, picks him right up and puts him on the wheelchair and starts putting the tourniquet on him and pushing him out. I got to talk to this guy!”
The man in the cowboy hat, Carlos Arredondo, 52, had been handing out American flags to runners when the first explosion went off. His son Alexander was a Marine killed in Iraq in 2004, and in the years since he …