By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 5:42 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Veteran Raiders defensive end Andre Carter took a break from his offseason workout program Monday to make a phone call. At the other end of the line, Martinez 11-year-old Aaron Hern, from a hospital bed in Boston.
Hern was one of the more than 170 people injured in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, seconds after he greeted his mother as she crossed the finish line.
Fragments from one of the two bombs hit Hern in the thigh. His father, Alan, ran for cover when the bomb exploded, holding his daughter’s hand. When he turned to find Aaron, he discovered his son wasn’t running along.
Alan Hern returned to the site of the explosion and discovered Aaron on the ground as a result of the thigh wound. Aaron subsequently underwent two surgeries and spent several days in the intensive care unit.
Aaron Hern is out of the I.C.U. and on the road to recovery. That process, no doubt, has been expedited by Carter taking several minutes to call Aaron and spend some time with him on the phone.
Then again, this is in keeping with Carter’s well-earned reputation as one of the game’s all-around good guys. No word yet on whether Aaron Hern is a Raiders fan. If he wasn’t before, he likely is now.
Even better, the Raiders sent Aaron Hern a little care package, complete with a football and several other Raiders-related items.
But, wait, it gets better. Word has it that Raiders coach Dennis Allen has invited the Hern family to a game this season, as well as a practice, as special guests of the Raiders.
The season hasn’t even started yet, but the Raiders already scored a huge victory in the eyes of Aaron Hern and everyone else aware of the time and effort put forth by Carter and the Raiders to make a difference in the life of a young boy whose live was forever changed eight days ago.