TORRANCE ( — A Torrance businessman who was badly injured in April’s Boston Marathon bombings is finally heading back home to Southern California.

Just weeks away from retirement, John Odom went to Boston with his wife, Karen, to catch a Red Sox game and see their daughter run the April 15 race.

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Before she could cross the finish line, however, the first bomb detonated just feet away from him.

Shrapnel went through both of Odom’s legs and he went into cardiac arrest.

“Doctors couldn’t tell me if he was gonna make it,” Karen said.

Odom survived, and his wife was by his side as he endured 11 surgeries, uncertainties and obstacles for the next few months.

“I knew he’d walk again,” said Karen.

Odom said he received a lot of support from family and strangers on Facebook.

“That, to me, gave me the strength and the want to want to do this and to go forward,” he said.

Odom said he’s excited about being able to head home this week.

“Go down the beach, walk along the beach, watch the dolphins in the waves,” he said.

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Odom said he’ll continue therapy, but is nowhere near the recovery finish line. He still has no feeling on the left side of his leg from the knee down.

“Have I fallen down? Yep. I’ve fallen down,” he said.

His strength, however, is a gift.

“Every day I got stronger,” Odom said. “Sometimes I surprise myself that I can do these things.”

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel. He’s proof-positive,” said Karen.


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