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Sisters face long recoveries after marathon blast

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 7:47 a.m. MDT

This undated photo made available by Brian Gross shows his sister-in-law Nicole Gross, and brother Michael Gross of Charlotte, N.C. The Gross couple were seriously injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013. Nicole's sister, Erika Brannock of Maryland, who was also injured, were cheering their mother, who was running the race. (Courtesy of Brian Gross, Associated Press) This undated photo made available by Brian Gross shows his sister-in-law Nicole Gross, and brother Michael Gross of Charlotte, N.C. The Gross couple were seriously injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, 2013. Nicole's sister, Erika Brannock of Maryland, who was also injured, were cheering their mother, who was running the race. (Courtesy of Brian Gross, Associated Press)

BOSTON — The family of two sisters who suffered serious leg injuries in the Boston Marathon bombing say both women face long recoveries.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Nicole Gross, a 31-year-old fitness instructor from Charlotte, N.C. and her sister, 29-year-old Erika Brannock , a preschool teacher in Towson, Md., were at the marathon to watch their mother run. Gross had trained 57-year old Carol Downing, of Monkton, Md., for the race.

Both women remain hospitalized. Brannock had her left leg amputated below the knee. Gross suffered a severed Achilles tendon and two broken legs.

Photos of Gross taken moments after the blast appeared in several newspapers and online. The family issued a statement Wednesday asking the media to stop using the images, saying they are "tremendously painful" for the family.

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