Nicole Gross, sister Erika Brannock recount Boston Bombings

Sisters recall Boston Bombings

(CBS News) - Nicole Brannock Gross' photo was seen around the world in the Boston Marathon bombings' wake. Her face captured the horror and chaos of the moment as well as her shock and need to get up.

Brannock Gross and her sister, Erika Brannock, were attending the race that day in support of their 57-year-old mother, Carol Downing, who dreamed of finishing the legendary Boston race.

Recently, the sisters and their mother, as well as Brannock Gross' husband, Michael Gross, sat down with CBS News' Lee Woodruff for their first interview since the bombing in April.

In their interview, the sisters recall the day. They were at the 26-mile mark for a portion of the race, but, eager to get a better view of their mom's finish, Brannock Gross suggested they move to a point just shy of the finish line. Their mom had only a half-mile to go. They were standing a few feet away from where the first bomb exploded.

Brannock Gross said she remembers the sound and being flown backward. "There was instant silence," she said. "And I can remember the smell of the bomb."

Nicole Brannock Gross in the moments after the Boston Marathon bombing.

That was the moment captured for front pages everywhere. Brannock Gross said of the photo of that moment, "In the beginning, I could only look at my face. It was too much to see the surroundings. But I remember exactly what I was going through in my head, just confusion and fear."

For Erika Brannock, everything slowed down. "(I remember) just falling back in slow motion," she said. "Everything went quiet. And then I was scared for dear life that another bomb was gonna go off. And that's how I was gonna die."

The sisters sustained severe injuries to their lower limbs in the bombing as well as hearing loss. Both women now face extensive rehabilitation. To help in their recovery, you can visit the Brannock and Gross families' funds. The funds are, which benefits Brannock Gross, Michael Gross -- who sustained burns in the blast -- and Erika Brannock equally, and, which goes to the aid of Erika specifically.

For more of the sisters' story, watch Lee Woodruff's full "CTM" segment.

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