BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A newlywed couple injured in the Boston Marathon attacks shared a message of thanks, hope, and love on the website friends and family created to raise funds for their recovery.
In the message posted Friday, Patrick and Jessica Downes commend those who stepped forward to help following the bombings.
"Though the enormity of the tragedy that befell our beloved city took precious lives, harmed hundreds, and irrevocably changed our collective future, this reality is offset by the outpouring of kindness, generosity, and love," wrote the couple. "At a time when it would be easy to despair, we have chosen faith and hope. Each of you has played a role in that."
Their heartfelt message thanked loved ones, health and safety personnel, and those people who they have never met that have offered both financial and emotional support in their recovery.
"Generosity and support have flowed from people who have known us all of our lives to those whom we have yet to meet. From the overwhelming financial generosity to the countless messages of inspiration, there is evidence at every turn that we are not alone. Thank you; you have lifted our spirits," reads the letter.
The couple also extends their gratitude to the staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Medical Center, saying they are "without peer." They say their caregivers helped to heal both their bodies and their hearts.
Patrick and Jessica Downes stood on the sidelines of the Boston Marathon, cheering on runners in a race Patrick had run before, when the bombs exploded. Both sustained serious leg injuries - each had a leg amputated below the knee, according to an e-mail sent to friends shortly after the bombings.
The couple is recovering together at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Jessica Downes is from California, attended John Hopkins University in Baltimore and is a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, their fundraising site says.
She is described as selfless and funny, but tough and confident.
Patrick Downes is Boston through and through, with an "accent that makes it impossible to tell if he's saying "parking" or "packing." He bawled when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
He graduated from Boston College and was "nicknamed 'Jesus' in high school for his goodness," the site said.
Friends and Family of Jessica and Patrick have set a goal of $1 million for the couple's recovery. As of Saturday, the fund had reached $843,234.
If you'd like to donate, visit: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/ygf1/helpforpatandjess/
The couple's full letter from their website:
During the past several weeks, as we struggled through the initial days after the Boston Marathon attacks and then began the long road to recovery, we have known every moment that we are blessed with enormous support. While preparing this note of gratitude, we realized that there are simply no words adequate to express how we feel. But we will try.
Though the enormity of the tragedy that befell our beloved city took precious lives, harmed hundreds, and irrevocably changed our collective future, this reality is offset by the outpouring of kindness, generosity, and love. At a time when it would be easy to despair, we have chosen faith and hope. Each of you has played a role in that.
Our families never contemplated being called upon to help us recover from something like this. Individually and collectively they have been at our side for both the mundane and the momentous. They are a source of stability in a world turned upside down. We know that whatever the future holds, our family has become stronger and will persevere. Thank you to all of you; we love you.
At the same time that the very worst was occurring, countless acts of selfless behavior took place on Boylston Street. We have survived because of strangers who placed the health and safety of those injured above their own and the first responders who moved quickly to place us in the hands of the best hospitals in the world. Thank you to each of you; we will never forget what you did for us.
Our personal experience as patients has deepened our appreciation for those who have helped us make it to this point. The combined expertise and caring of the staffs of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Medical Center are without peer. Their strengths, recognized around the world, were equaled by their many acts of daily compassion. While dealing with the personal nature of the attack that occurred to Boston, our caretakers continued to dedicate themselves to the preservation of life. Thank you to our caregivers; you have helped heal our bodies and our hearts.
Generosity and support have flowed from people who have known us all of our lives to those whom we have yet to meet. From the overwhelming financial generosity to the countless messages of inspiration, there is evidence at every turn that we are not alone. Thank you; you have lifted our spirits.
The last several weeks have been difficult and the road ahead remains uncertain. Our physical recovery will take many months and it is hard to see beyond that at this time. We appreciate that you have respected our need to heal. Though this has been a very public tragedy, our recovery is personal and private at this time.
We can, however, share with you how happy we are to finally be together at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where compassionate, expert care continues to help us prepare for our future. Loving each other as we do, we are committed to each other's recovery and renewal.
Our deepest gratitude,
Jessica and Patrick