Boston bombing victim whose leg was saved by student, 23

Amid the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings last week have emerged the stories of strangers brought together by acts of selfless bravery.

Ron Brassard, 51, and 23-year-old Rob Wheeler were both at the finishing line when the bomb went off last Monday.

The picture of Mr Wheeler using his T-shirt as a tourniquet on Mr Brassard's seriously injured leg is one of many scenes of courage on that horrifying day which left three people dead and injured more than 180.

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Firm friends: Ron Brassard, 51, and 23-year-old Rob Wheeler bonded after the student helped staunch the bleeding in his seriously wounded leg following the Boston bombing

Hour of need: Mr Brassard has a tourniquet applied to his leg by Mr Wheeler in one of the many scenes of bravery that emerged during the terrorist attack last Monday

Mr Wheeler, a Framingham State College student who is originally from Marshfield, had just finished the 26-mile race and was near the finish line on Boylston Street during the massive explosion.

Mr Brassard was nearby with his wife and daughter cheering on a friend who was running the race.

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A spokesman for the Boston Health Commission reported a sudden jump in the number of injured on Saturday.

264 are now being treated across 26 Boston hospitals, according to Reuters

The sudden jump from 180 came as dozens of people came forward with delayed minor health complaints, such as hearing issues or minor shrapnel wounds. 48 remain hospitalised.

The student, who had stepped in last minute to run the race for a friend, rushed to the 51-year-old's side after he heard Mr Brassard's daughter crying out for someone to help her father.

Mr Wheeler said that he relied on what he remembered from first-aid training and his interest in sports medicine to staunch the bleeding in Mr Brassard's leg, caused by severe shrapnel wounds.

The 23-year-old plans to join the Marines after he graduates next month.

Mr Brassard told NBC: 'At that moment I absolutely needed someone to help me. And that someone was Rob.'

Agony: Mr Brassard, pictured on a stretcher, was one of more than 180 people injured in the attack on Boston

Fate: The 23-year-old student was not even supposed to be running the race but stepped in for a friend

Victims: From left, Martin Richards, eight, Krystal Campbell, 29, and Lu Lingxi, 23, were the three people killed in the explosions which tore through spectators at the Boston Marathon last Monday

Mr Brassard's wife and daughter also suffered shrapnel wounds. However they had recovered enough to attend the Boston Red Sox game on Sunday after the team gave them free tickets.

Ron had not recovered well enough to attend the game so asked his 23-year-old new friend to accompany his wife and daughter instead.

The Brassard family also plan to attend Rob's graduation on May 19. Mr Brassard added: 'We're part of each other's life now.'

Survivors: Mr Brassard's wife and daughter also suffered shrapnel injuries