Family of Rollins College dean suffers traumatic injuries during Boston blasts

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ORLANDO, Fla. - The double bombing in Boston during the marathon is hitting close to home for the Rollins College community.

Three family members of Dean Pat Powers were severely injured in Monday’s explosion.

As the bell rang in the afternoon Tuesday from the chapel at Rollins, students and staff gathered to pray for those killed and injured in the Boston tragedy.

“This time, my family was affected,” said Powers.

Powers’ sister, Mary Jo, and her husband, Bill White, remain hospitalized after being injured by the blasts.

“It's very shocking, alarming, painful and agonizing,” said Powers.

White recently woke from a coma to find that doctors had amputated his leg.  And Mary Jo needed surgery on her hand for shrapnel wounds.

In addition to the people who showed up in the rose garden at Rollins, dozens have reached out to the dean on his Facebook page, and students who spoke with Channel 9 said that sense of community helps heal during times of tragedy. 

“I think our presence here, regardless of whether we believe in the same spirituality, is going to help everyone, just the power of presence and support,” said senior Melissa Mercado.

“I am from the Boston area and it brings it down in a poignant deep way when your home city is attacked,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Carol Bresnahan.

Powers’ family continues to deal with emotional stress but said they are confident they'll get through this. They’re also urging support for others who lost their lives.