BOSTON -- None of the members of the Oakland A's organization who visited Boston Marathon bombing victim Aaron Hern on Monday are trained in the medical arts.

All came away from the noontime meeting, however, saying they believe Hern and his family are more than up to the challenges that await the 11-year-old from Martinez who has already undergone three surgeries.

"It was an amazing experience," Brandon Moss said. The first baseman, together with first base coach Tye Waller and right fielder Josh Reddick, spent about two hours with Hern and his extended family at Boston Children's Hospital.

"The entire family is looking this thing in the face and they are looking ahead, not back," Moss said. "I left there believing that Aaron has a great background and a great future. If any kid can be prepared for going forward from this, he is."

Aaron is an athlete and something of an A's fan. Waller said he learned Aaron had already run the mile in under six minutes.

"He's definitely into sports," Waller said. "He can play, and he said he watched some of our series with Houston before all this happened. I came out of there with the sense that he'll be OK.

"I told them they made my day, and they really did. Knowing that he's going to be OK after all the surgeries made us feel good. I think we came out of there with them making us feel better rather than the other way around. I guarantee you that family will be OK."


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Aaron's mother, Katherine, was running in the marathon. His father, Alan, and the rest of the family, including 10-year-old sister Abby, were there as part of her support group. All were in the general area of the finish line when the bombs went off and Aaron, standing near a friend, was near the site of the second bomb.

"I think we were there to help him forget," Reddick said. "He had a big smile and to see his face light up when we got there was just tremendous.

"By the time we left, I felt I got more out of it than he did. What happened really put things in perspective."

The route of the A's team buses from Logan Airport to the A's hotel Sunday night went right past the memorial set up to remember the bombing victims.

"It was a pretty eerie feeling driving up and seeing Boylston Street still closed," manager Bob Melvin said. "You can only imagine what it was like.

"I talked to Moss some after the visit this afternoon, and you could tell he was very glad he went. It's the perspective you get. It makes baseball pretty insignificant."

The A's are hoping to honor Aaron and his family for a game at the Coliseum later this summer.

A fund has been set up for donations to the family to help them defray costs. The Aaron Hern Recovery Fund will take donations at any Wells Fargo Bank nationwide.

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