updated 05/09/2013 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/09/2013 AT 2:05 PM ET
Her brother Martin Richard, 8, became the face of the Boston Marathon bombings – the littlest victim, mourned by thousands.
Since then, no one has forgotten young Jane Richard, 7, who lost a leg in the blasts. And now, to her family’s great relief, she’s finally on the path to recovery.
“Last evening, just 23 days after the bombing attack on Boston, our daughter Jane underwent her eleventh surgery,” her parents Bill and Denise Richard said in a lengthy update Thursday.
It’s been a long, hard road for her already, the Richards said.
“Getting to this point has not been easy for Jane. In addition to all of the surgeries, she has also had to fight off infections and other complications.”
Hardest of all, her parents added, was having to explain to her what had happened to her brother when she awoke.
“After not being able to communicate with Jane for the first two weeks, she woke up with difficult questions that needed to be answered. There are not words to describe how hard sharing this heartbreaking news was on all of us,” they write.
After three emotional weeks, Wednesday’s surgery marked an “important milestone” and a reason to be “positive.”
In closing “the wound created when the bomb took her left leg below the knee,” doctors were “preparing Jane’s injured leg to eventually be fitted for a prosthesis,” they said.
“If things go well, Jane could be ready to transition to the rehabilitation stage of her recovery in the next few weeks.”
Last month the nation mourned the loss of Jane’s older brother Martin, a sports-loving, doe-eyed boy whose toothy smile touched hearts.
On April 23, in a private ceremony, the Richards laid him to rest.
“The outpouring of love and support over the last week has been tremendous,” the Richards said at the time. “This has been the most difficult week of our lives and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal.”