EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 17, 2013

At least seven local spectators, runners hurt in Boston blasts

BOSTON -- Rich Whalley knew his parents would be in Boston somewhere on Monday, walking near the Boston Marathon route.

The North Andover native’s parents, Eric and Ann Whalley, moved to Charlestown three years ago and began taking long walks along the marathon route on Patriots Day.

Whalley was worried when he heard about the explosions. Then his brother, Chris, called with some shocking news.

“He saw a picture of my dad online” (bloodied and in a wheelchair), said Whalley, who graduated from North Andover High in 2006 and MIT in 2010 and now lives in Cambridge. “It was tough to see.”

Whalley later found out that his mother, Ann, was a casualty, too, with leg injuries.

The Whalleys were among more than 170 people injured in the Marathon bombings.

So were at least five other Merrimack Valley residents or natives.

David Yepez of Andover, a freshman at St. John’s Prep, had surgery to remove shrapnel from his leg. (See related story.)

Amesbury High graduates Remy Lawler, who also had surgery to remove shrapnel from her leg, and Erin Hurley were both recovering yesterday from injuries.

Andover High senior Samantha Kelley, whose father was working security near the finish line, suffered an ear concussion from the blast.

Jeff Bauman Jr., of Chelmsford, lost both legs in the blasts.

The same questions likely ran through the minds of those victims’ families, as they did for Whalley’s.

Rich Whalley was frantic after seeing the photo of his father online. Was his mother OK? What hospital were they in?

“That was a problem. We couldn’t find out which hospital they were at,” said Whalley. “Apparently, they spelled our name wrong. Anyway, we posted on Facebook and we were able to find out where they were pretty efficiently.”

His parents were both at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, both in ICU.

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