Boston Marathon bomb attacks: One year on

The scene near the Boston Marathon finish line last year as a bomb detonated. Photo: REUTERS/Dan Lampariello

Today Boston will mark the first anniversary of the marathon bombings that shocked the city to its core.

The two explosions near the finish line led to a scene of carnage, all captured in horrific detail on live TV.

Three people died, 260 were wounded and there were 18 amputations in the hours that followed, as surgeons fought to save the lives of the most critically injured.

Boston's police and the FBI conducted one of the largest manhunts in American history before they tracked down the two brothers.

But a year on, how are the survivors coping? The attention of the world's media has moved on. But the struggle for the wounded is a grinding, sometimes harrowing, but often inspiring, daily battle.

Marc Fucarile is a 36-year-old Bostonian who was virtually standing on top of the second bomb when it exploded. His story is a truly remarkable testimony to the power of one man's will to survive.

Marc Fucarile talks to ITV News almost a year on from the Boston Marathon bombings. Credit: ITV News

The first firefighter who encountered his mangled body put a tourniquet on Marc's legs, but quickly moved on to attend to other wounded spectators, whom he judged had a better chance of surviving.

Then a nurse ran to help Marc and blurted out, "Oh my God, you're still on fire."

Marc refused to die, he says, because he had a son he was desperate to see grow up, and a fiancee he wanted to marry.

Marc Fucarile was the last survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings to leave hospital. Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Somehow he did survive, if only just. After 100 days, Marc was the last of the injured to be released from hospital.

One leg was amputated immediately and he has endured two re-amputations on the same limb in the months that followed, as doctors tried to improve his quality of life.

Marc and his surgeons are still deciding whether to amputate his second leg, which is still causing him excruciating pain.

Marc Fucarile and his son Gavin at the finish line of the Boston Marathon this year. Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The media narrative that all is well in Boston, as survivors heal and the city celebrates its resilience, is too simplistic. One year on, Marc feels his journey has barely begun.

But two days after this first anniversary of the bombing, Marc will relish a singular triumph.

He will walk, unaided and without even using crutches, down the aisle to marry his fiancee. His seven-year-old son Gavin, who gave him the strength to survive, will be the best man.

Marc Fucarile's crowd funding page to cover his medical expenses can be found at: www.gofundme.com/marcfucarile