Friends and community members have rallied around a 24-year-old Hingham man who was injured in Monday’s Marathon attack.
J.P. Craven was near the finish line at the Marathon, in which his 54-year-old father, Joseph Craven, was a contestant.
A friend who spoke over the telephone with J.P. Craven after the explosion said he was taken to Boston Medical Center with burns and head trauma, and that part of his ear was taken off in the blast.
Yet one day later, Dan Hebert said, Craven was awake and talking. Boston Medical Center spokesperson Gina Orlando said his condition had improved to serious from critical by Tuesday afternoon.
“I just got off the phone with him,” said Hebert, a lifelong friend of Craven’s who is living in Mississippi for a teaching program, after speaking with him Tuesday night. “…He was cracking jokes. He sounded like he was doing great.”
Hebert said he learned Craven was injured the attack from a text from another close friend midafternoon on Monday. Other members of Craven’s family were in a different area of the Marathon at the time of the blast, and were not severely injured.
The Craven family could not be reached for comment, but Hebert said that word has been traveling that the young Craven is improving.
Yet even a quick phone conversation was reassuring.
“It didn’t seem the time to have a serious conversation … all the rest of his buddies are in the room, so it’s [more] a fun moment. It’s good to hear his voice,” Hebert said.
Hebert said that as traumatic as the event has been for Craven and his family, Craven sounded hopeful and resilient.
According to Hebert, the hockey player turned baseball player has had his fair share of injuries. He even stopped playing hockey at Hingham High due to his knee.
At Davidson College in North Carolina, Craven played baseball and ran into shoulder problems. The college's website said he graduated in 2011, and reported he had been injured in the Marathon blast.
“He’s a tough kid. He’s the toughest there is,” Hebert said. “He said, 'I’ll be [here] a bit longer, get some physical therapy, and I’ll be right back where [I was]’. It seemed like it didn’t even faze him. JP’s as tough as they come.”
Craven was one of two impacted by the attack that have Hingham connections.
Krystle Marie Campbell, 29, was killed in the blast. She had served as a manager a Jasper White’s Summer Shack in Hingham and Cambridge, and had worked for the restaurant for years.
The impacts were even felt in Hingham, England, which set town officials a letter expressing their thoughts.
“Can I on behalf of the people of Hingham Norfolk say that our thoughts are with all in Hingham, MA and in the wider area who were taking part in working at or watching their friends and family taking part in the Boston Marathon,” said Peter Eldridge, the Chair of the Hingham Town Council in England. “There is little that we can do from so far away except to hope and pray that the mental and physical scares of this terrible act can be alleviated in some way."
For more on the Boston Marathon attack, visit www.bostonglobe.com