By G. Jeffrey MacDonald, Special for USA TODAY
BOSTON - With tears on her cheeks and determination in her voice, Jen Regan of Stoneham, Mass., spoke publicly for the first time Monday about the challenges facing her fiancé, Marc Fucarile, who was severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombings.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Regan detailed Fucarile's condition, which the hospital lists as serious. His right leg had to be amputated above the knee. His left leg suffers from multiple fractures. Half his body is burned, including some third-degree burns.
"Shrapnel litters most of his body, the most serious being his heart," Regan told reporters as six of Marc's family members stood by her. "Even though his heart was physically damaged, it did not lessen the size of his incredibly loving heart."
Fucarile is one of nine bomb victims still being treated at Massachusetts General. Five others are in good condition, while three are listed as fair. They're contending with injuries similar to those seen elsewhere in the city: broken bones, damaged tissues and shrapnel penetration, especially in the lower legs, according to trauma surgeon David King.
Fucarile recently regained consciousness, Regan said, and spoke to Regan about her and their 5-year-old son, Gavin. As she spoke, a photo on a wall nearby showed Fucarile and Gavin smiling at a New England Patriots football game.
"The first words he said to me when he woke up were, 'I am sorry for being there. I love you and Gavin,' " Regan said, reading from a written statement. "He then proceeded to ask how his friends were, just proving how Marc is always worried about everyone else before himself."
Though wounds have required close monitoring, none of those treated at Massachusetts General had developed infections, according to King. He attributes that remarkable record largely to techniques learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as conducting multiple surgeries in stages and letting affected areas heal a bit before doing the next one.
Discharged patients have generally moved on to rehabilitation facilities, King said. There they are continuing various types of therapy - physical, mental and emotional.
"We're at the very beginning of treating and curing their medical and surgical problems," King said. "The amount of rehabilitation, (plus) psychiatric and psychological healing that will be required, will honestly result in a lifetime of care and therapy."
To aid Fucarile in his recovery, a cousin has created a website to collect donations at helpmarcfucarile.com. As of Monday, the campaign had raised $62,000 toward its $500,000 goal.