Jessica is a Sacramento, CA native who, after graduating from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, was working as a nurse at Mass General Hospital, one of the hospitals that took in the wounded following the explosions. Patrick is described as the “ultimate Boston boy,” having graduated from Boston College and reportedly sobbing with joy when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
The “unlikely” couple were married last August in Cambridge, MA.
Jessica and Patrick were together watching the Boston Marathon, one that Patrick had competed in in the past, near the finish line on Boylston Street, when the explosions went off on Monday. In the chaos of the aftermath, the two were separated and brought to different hospitals, Jessica to Boston Medical Center and Patrick to Beth Israel.
Tragically, Jessica and Patrick each had a leg amputated beneath the knee, and Jessica is reportedly in danger of losing her remaining foot.
In order to help ease the financial burdens of the medical bills and out-of-pocket costs associated with both of their surgeries and rehabilitation, a donation website has been established under the leadership of Boston College Friends.
The goal for the Downes is to raise $500,000 and at time of publication, over $212,000 had been donated.The site reportedly crashed on Wednesday with the influx of people trying to donate.
The GiveForward site also encourages those donating to leave well-wishes in a comments section for Patrick and Jessica.
The website says of Jessica and Patrick: “She has the spirit of a lion, and combined with Patrick's good (the most good!) heart and interminable support for his wife, their beautiful, beautiful love and devotion of their wonderful families and loyal friends, I have no doubt in my mind that they will persevere through this horrific time and will soon enough live happy, normal, fulfilling lives.”
On April 18th, the Downes and Kensky families issued a statement on the website which said, “For many of us, Monday's events shook our faith in humanity. But a quick look at the outpouring of support from friends and strangers -- both in the immediate aftermath and now here on this site -- restores it.”
While many are reaching out to help not only the Downes but many other victims in the Boston Marathon tragedy, the city of Boston is reminding people that it is providing counselling services for the public.
In a statement, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that the City of Boston will continue to staff a resource and counseling center on Thursday, April 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the offices of City Year, 287 Columbus Avenue in Boston.
Staff from Boston Centers for Youth & Families and the Boston Public Health Commission will be on hand to provide information, assistance and counseling services to anyone still needing help as a result of the tragedies during Monday’s Marathon.
If anyone would like to seek assistance by phone, please call the Mayor's 24 hour hotline at 617-635-4500. To speak to a counselor by phone, please call the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050.