The idea started with one email and by early Sunday evening, over 100 friends of injured Boston Marathon spectator John Odom’s friends and family were gathered on Avenue I in Redondo Beach to send him a photo of support.
“We’re thousands of miles away,” said organizer Cris Hayes. “If they were here we’d be taking them food.”
Odom, who was only 20 feet away from the first of the two bombs, was rushed to the hospital after a member of his family reportedly saved his life by using a belt as a tourniquet.
According to a post on CaringBridge.org from his wife Karen, since Monday he has had six surgeries to heal the damage on both of his legs and abdomen and has had a tough recovery because of the loss of blood and concern about infection.
Local friend Timme Gunderlock said the family estimates that he’ll be in the hospital in Boston for two months as well as in rehab for an additional month.
“We’re praying for his quick recovery,” Gunderlock said. “Mainly he has all these open wounds and they’re trying to close them and heal the infection. It’s going to be a long road.”
On Sunday night, friends came together at the end of the avenue to send Odom well wishes through a picture and also to update each other on news on his health. By the end of the hour-long get-together many previously unconnected friends of the Odom family were hugging and sharing phone numbers.
“John’s a great guy,” photographer John Kanut said. “Just look at this crowd, and this was even last minute. We just want to tell him that everybody loves him.”
Kanut also added that Odom was scheduled to retire at the end of May.
“There’s just so much love for the whole Odom family,” Hayes said. “We want them to know we’re here for them.”
For more information on John Odom’s recovery, visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/johnodom/