By Brian Jennings – Recently, Colorado Rapids fans in the West stands may have noticed a possibly familiar looking face on the second goalkeeper for Wednesday night’s match in Commerce City, CO.
However, the name on the back of the jersey didn’t look familiar. “ODOM” along with the number 1 was on the back of Matt Reis’s shirt during pre-game warm-ups and during the match.
As many New England Revolution fans already know, goalkeeper Matt Reis and his family went through a harrowing ordeal at the 2013 Boston Marathon as did hundreds of others. Reis’s wife was actually running in the race herself. John Odom, Matt’s father-in-law, was there with the family to cheer her on and was very close to “ground zero” of one of the backpack bombs which detonated near the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon.
Matt and his son were actually there as well but had moved just minutes prior to the explosion. “(John) was probably about 20 feet from the first bomb and I was about 40 feet,” Reis explained of the fateful day. “Two minutes before it went off I moved with my 7-year old son closer to the finish line.”
John Odom sustained critical injuries and continues to suffer effects of the blast. “He was bedridden and unconscious for 4 weeks but the doctor’s at Boston Medical Center have done an amazing job with him,” Reis said proudly. “He’s doing outpatient work still at the hospital but he’s lost most of the feeling in his left calf and foot. A piece of shrapnel went all the way through his left leg into his right leg and severed the sciatic nerve.”
“He’s doing a lot better. We’re trying to get him onto a cane. He’s got some forearm crutches he uses and he’s working now on one crutch and then to a cane. He’s doing great and improving every day.”
Matt continues to recognize his father-in-law John Odom with his own tribute as a show of support even on matchday with the Revolution. “He’s been through quite a bit in the last 3 months. I wear that to honor him and show support.”