One of the iconic photographs to emerge from the carnage of the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday shows a man with horrific leg injuries sitting in a wheelchair. Both his legs were blown off below the knees. The victim is in shock, his face drained of blood. A civilian wearing a cowboy hat runs alongside the wheelchair, holding onto one end of a tourniquet that is tied around the victim's left leg to staunch the bleeding from his severed femoral artery. That tourniquet is the only thing preventing the victim from bleeding to death.
Almost immediately after the explosions rocked Boston and the world, we knew both of their names thanks to the speed of social media.
The victim's name is Jeff and he is in critical but stable condition following surgery to amputate both of his legs. The cowboy's name is Carlos Arredondo, a Red Cross volunteer and peace activist who lost a son in the Iraq war.
Jeff's father and friends took to Facebook.com to identify him to the world and to thank those who offered up their prayers.
"Can everyone pray for my son Jeff Jr. who was at the finish line in Boston today," wrote Jeff's father from Concord, NH. He added: "I'm really starting to lose faith in our country.
A family friend wrote on Facebook:
That's my friend Jeff in the wheelchair. This is the latest update I have on him. Google Person Finder says he is alive but for all I know someone saw this and reported him as alive. Carlos Arrendondo should never have to buy a drink in this town again.
EDIT: I didn't realize I could dive into the Google People Finder results. He was in the Boston Medical Center ER as of 23:20 UTC. Here is a photo of him from his facebook for verification.
EDIT 2: Received word via facebook that he is in stable condition. Thanks all for sending him thoughts and well wishes.
A commenter on Reddit.com wrote "Carlos Arrendondo should never have to buy a drink in this town again."