Beth and Ken Roche drove more than 960 miles to see their daughter run her first marathon.
The Highland couple sat in the VIP bleachers Monday at the Boston Marathon finish line, cheering for daughter Becky Roche as she completed the race.
Less than a minute later, a bomb blast near those bleachers seriously injured Beth, 60, herself an avid runner. Ken, who already was using crutches for a broken foot, wasn’t injured.
Taken to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Beth Roche underwent hours of surgery Monday to repair her knee cap.
Now she faces months of therapy and possibly a few more surgeries, Becky Roche told Bob Oakes during an interview with a National Public Radio station. Beth Roche could be released from the hospital in two to three days.
Becky’s brother, Kevin, is flying to Boston from Chicago to drive their parents back to Highland.
Becky Roche is a Highland High School graduate who holds a Ph.D. in pharmacy from Purdue University and is a medical information specialist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in nearby Cambridge, Mass.
She said in an interview with "Good Morning America" that she had finished the race 30 to 60 seconds before the bomb blasts.
She told George Stephanopoulos she could feel the impact of the blast from where she was.
“I thought the worst. I turned around and saw the smoke from both bombs and thought something terrible had happened.”
She described the scene as chaotic.
"People were being pushed aside," she said. "They were scrambling, running with the police, hiding under buses.”
Becky Roche said she and friends “tried to get out of there and try to make it back to our loved ones.”
Wally Richardson, of Highland, a friend of the Roche family, said friends were finally able to find out what happened through Facebook. Beth Roche works as an office manager at Audiology & Imaging Center in Munster.
“When it first happened, it was difficult to learn anything because part of Boston’s emergency plan is to shut down all the cell towers to prevent another bomb from being detonated by cellphone,” Richardson said.
On Beth Roche’s Facebook page, Ken Roche wrote, “OK, I have hacked Beth’s FB, we thank you all for your wishes, concerns and prayers, I will try to keep you all updated best we can. Ken”
The family has asked that friends and well-wishers not call Beth or others for the next 72 hours to allow her to start her recovery.