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Boston Marathon bombing survivor sends message of hope after Las Vegas shooting

by Scott Stump / / Source: TODAY

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Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman has offered hope to the families and victims who face a difficult recovery in the wake of Sunday's deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing in 2013, urged survivors of the shooting that killed 59 people and injured more than 500 to accept the help being offered by friends and loved ones.

"Use your support group around you,'' Bauman told Megyn Kelly on TODAY Tuesday. "That's huge because usually when people go through something dramatic, you tend to isolate a lot, and I did in my recovery.

"I isolated a lot and pushed people away from me that were trying to help, so I would just recommend that you don't isolate and that you work on both your physical and mental recovery."

Bauman also had uplifting words for survivors in a Facebook post the day after the shooting.

"To those who lost friends and loved ones - I’m so sorry,'' he wrote. "I know there are no words that can bring comfort but please know that the world is behind you.

"To the victims waking up in a hospital right now wondering how life will ever be the same...I know your pain. The most important advice I can give is to remember that healing your mind is just as important as healing your physical, visible injuries. It took me too many years and dark moments to realize that and it is so, so important. You will walk again. You will laugh again. You will dance again. You will live again."

Bauman was captured in one of the most iconic photos from the Boston Marathon bombing when he was hustled to an ambulance on a wheelchair by Carlos Arredondo.

Since the bombing, Bauman has become a father to a baby girl, written a book about his ordeal, and finished his first road race since the attack by symbolically pushing Arredondo to the finish line in a wheelchair last year.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal also portrayed Bauman's inspiring journey in the movie "Stronger" now in theaters.

Bauman began his arduous recovery by focusing on the physical side but soon realized that wasn't the most important aspect.

"Recovery is a long process,'' he told Kelly. "Physically, I think I attacked my physical before my mental, which was I think a poor mistake on my part. But definitely, you have to take care of both your physical recovery and your mental recovery."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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