MARTINEZ -- Aaron Hern, 11, the Martinez boy who was seriously injured in the Boston Marathon bombings two weeks ago, returned to the Bay Area on Tuesday, just one day before his 12th birthday.
"They just got home," family friend Sandra Hall said early Tuesday evening. "They're getting settled back into their house."
Hall was part of a group of family and friends who had traveled to Boston to support Aaron's mother, Katherine, as she ran the Boston Marathon. No one else in the group, which included Aaron's father, Alhambra Valley High School football coach Alan Hern, and Aaron's sister, Abby, 10, was injured.
Alan Hern told television station KTVU on Tuesday that some of Aaron's schoolmates stopped by the family home before the Herns' return, and that the school was buzzing about Aaron's eventual return to school. One friend said that Aaron just wanted to wake up in his own bed on his birthday.
"There's a lot on his shoulders right now for a 12-year-old kid, going through what he went through and seeing what he saw," Alan Hern told the TV station.
Aaron was struck by a piece of shrapnel in his leg and had two surgeries in the days following the bombings. He was released from the hospital last week and continued his recovery in the Boston area, even visiting the site of the bombing before returning home.
It is still unclear when Aaron will return to school, Alan Hern said. The boy still has almost 100 staples in his leg from both of his surgeries.
A sign posted on the front door of the family's home Tuesday read: "We have just recently returned home and Aaron is doing well. We have many affairs to get in order besides just trying to find some peaceful family time."
The sign said the family would be prepared to speak to reporters at a news conference Thursday at 2 p.m.
"He doesn't take all the attention lightly," Katherine Hern told the TV station. "He's very appreciative ... but he doesn't quite know what to do with that or how to express thanks or understanding or feel like he deserves it."