The book "Stronger" is based on the experiences of runner Jeff Bauman who lost both his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. It is a powerful autobiography that is co-written with Bret Witter. Even though Jeff is really taxed both physically and mentally by the effects of the bombing, he comes out a real winner.
Using all his strength and determination, and with the support of his family, girlfriend and the public he is able to walk again. Jeff is shown to be stoic and heroic throughout the book as he faces many new challenges and obstacles along the way and implements total lifestyle changes.
Unsuprising the physical pain Jeff experiences following the bombing is immense. Many of the muscles in his body also don't work properly. Jeff can't stand looking at what is left of his legs, which he refers to as having turned to apple sauce and resembling dancing sausages with band aids over the ends. You can feel Jeff's total frustration and depression, particularly at the start, when he is confined to a hospital room staring at the ceiling. He agrees to undergo psychological counseling and physical therapy to try adjust to his new situation.
Family and the public
The incredible support of his family, girlfriend Erin, and the public helps his recovery. Once a photograph of Jeff is made available to the public he becomes famous almost overnight. Suddenly everyone from Oprah to well-known American sports stars wanted to know him. He is invited to many events such as a hockey game in Boston where he is given a standing ovation by 30,000 people. A lot of money is also raised for him when a special Facebook page is set up for him by two strangers. The page attracts a large pool of people from many small towns and businesses, who become fundraisers.
Despite all this support, life for Jeff is far from easy and he often feels helpless. Many things he used to easily do, such as getting out of a car, now take him as long as five minutes. He can no longer lift heavy loads of food which he did at his job at COSTCO. Things he loved to do like ride a bike or run are no longer possible. He also experiences pain and discomfort, particularly when sitting for long periods of time and experiences a lot of cramping at night. There are limitations and disappointments, especially when he and his girlfriend are not able to live out their fantasy of sharing a large house together on a hill because it is not accessible.
Although Jeff gets very frustrated with his situation, he is a real role model and does a lot of good. He is generous with his money and donates it to charities such as children with cancer. He is disciplined and prepared to put in the continual hard yards, especially doing exercises for his upper body in order to strengthen it and find balance. He is brave too in wanting to walk again in the 2014 Boston Marathon. And he feels grateful. Grateful to be alive and thankful that the shrapnel from the bomb did not kill him.