By Serene Branson

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — A Southern California man critically injured in bomb explosions at last year’s Boston Marathon was cheering on two friends from the sidelines on Monday as they ran in his honor.

Torrance resident John Odom endured 11 surgeries after he was wounded when two pressure cooker bombs went off near the end of the 26.2-mile course, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

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Steps from where he stood last year near the finish line, Odom and his wife, Karen, cheered on his Boston-based physical therapist, Jess Guilbert, and family friend, Jen Deslaurier.

“It brought tears to my eyes,” he told KCAL9’s Serene Branson, adding of Guilbert, “She taught me how to live again.”

Guilbert spent nearly every day last summer teaching Odom how to walk as he endured a marathon journey of his own.

Odom had been in the crowd watching for his daughter when shrapnel from the explosions tore through his legs, leaving him unconscious for three weeks and his family wondering if he’d pull through.

More than a month later, he stood up, and with intensive therapy with Guilbert, he was able to learn how to walk again.

This past weekend, Odom was able to cruise through the one-mile survivor’s walk without using his cane once.

“Sometimes this gets in my way,” he said while holding the apparatus.

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Odom plans to return to the city again.

“I had to be here to give back,” he said.

More than 32,000 people ran in the race on Monday.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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Serene Branson