BOSTON -- Aaron Hern, the 12-year-old Martinez boy injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, will undergo surgery again Wednesday, a family friend said Tuesday afternoon.
Under sedation while he recovers, Aaron only occasionally awakens in the Intensive Care Unit of Boston's Children's Hospital, according to Sandra Hall, a close family friend who traveled to Boston to root for Aaron's mother, Katherine, as she ran the marathon.
In addition to the scheduled surgery Wednesday, doctors will try to determine if Aaron will need skin grafts to help heal his upper thigh where he was burned, Hall added.
But the athletic sixth-grader at Martinez Junior High School does not seemed so worried about his injuries, Hall said, as he does about his family and friends. His father, Alhambra High School football coach Alan Hern, was standing about six to 8 feet away with Aaron's sister, 10-year-old Abby, when the bomb went off, but neither was injured.
When he does wake up, Aaron writes questions on a piece of paper, a tube down his throat preventing him from speaking.
"Did Mom finish?" he pens. "David?" he asks of a friend who was with him at the finish line when the bombs exploded.
"We have to tell him over and over again that everyone is OK, that Mom finished, that he was the only one seriously hurt," Hall said.
But Aaron's younger sister, Abby, has questions of her own, Hall said: How badly is Aaron's hurt? Why did this happen?
"I told her that it wasn't personal, that if the bomber knew Aaron, he would never have deliberately hurt him," she said. "Boston has one sick bomber, but it has millions of angels."
In an update on her Facebook page late Monday, Katherine Hern filled in friends and family on Aaron's condition.
"I'll keep this short because I need to get back to Aaron and try to get some sleep," Hern said. "First, thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Aaron is in the ICU but stable. Has many lacerations but mostly superficial except one. One on his upper left thigh needs more surgery and just not sure yet the extent of the damage. Will be here about 7-10 days with follow up surgeries."
Hall said help and support from Bostonians as well as from those in the Bay Area has been "unbelievable."
The hospital gave Aaron's parents an apartment to stay in, dozens of people have sent prayers and well-wishes, and a former exchange student the Herns once hosted emailed them from Belgium to get updates on how the family is doing.
"Everywhere we now turn, we are not bombed by evil," she said. "We are bombarded by kindness."
Back home, a Martinez restaurant, Roxx on Main, held a fundraiser to benefit the Hern family, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday night, said owner Roxanne Cole.
"They are a local family and Martinez is a tight-knit community," Cole said. The restaurant, at 627 Main St., will donate all proceeds to the Herns, she said.
Students at Martinez Junior High School, where administrators say Aaron excels both academically and athletically, received a personal message from school administration inviting them to come down to the counseling office to meet with counselors and Principal Helen Rossi on Tuesday.
"Teachers were asked to brainstorm with their students a variety of ways we could best support Aaron and his family," Rossi said. "Some classes are making cards, and the eighth grade has started collecting donations for any travel expenses."
Rossi said that all of the ideas will be brought to the student council this afternoon.
"We want to emphasize that we are a community and that this is a school issue," Rossi said. "We all take care of each other."