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Abbott (center) with "Team Limb-It-Less" (Facebook)

Third anniversary

Boston Marathon bombing survivor helps other amputees pay for prostheses

April 15, 2016

On April 15, 2013, Heather Abbott of Newport, Rhode Island was waiting to enter a restaurant near the finish line of the Boston Marathon with her friends, celebrating a beautiful day spent together watching the Red Sox play, when the first bomb went off. A second bomb launched Abbott through the air, into the open front doors of the restaurant and onto the ground. Her heel was blown off.

“There was blood everywhere, there was glass shattered around me and people were just running for the exits trying to get out. And I thought, ‘I can’t get up and run like everyone else is doing, I could die here,’” she said recently at an event in Windsor, Ontario, according to Click on Detroit.

When Abbott called out for help she was met by Erin Chatham, the wife of former New England Patriots lineman Matt Chatham, who helped her to safety. At the hospital, doctors told her that she could keep her leg or amputate and adjust to living a pain-free life that would allow her to run and wear high heels with a prosthetic. “I was really feeling pretty sorry for myself and saying a lot of, ‘What ifs’ and ‘Why mes?,’” Abbott said. Ultimately, visits from United States veterans who had lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan helped her make the decision, and she’s never looked back.

Heather Abbott had her leg amputated after the Boston Marathon bombing. (Facebook)
Heather Abbott had her leg amputated after the Boston Marathon bombing. (Facebook)

She now runs the Heather Abbott Foundation, which helps other amputees pay for prosthetic limbs — which can range from $20,000 to $100,000 — and is Abbott’s chance to “pay it forward.”

“Most insurance companies will cover the initial basic prosthesis to walk with but anything else like running or wearing high heels or something that is water proof those are all specialized prostheses that are typically not covered by health insurance in the US,” Abbott said, according to Click on Detroit. “I actually have six different prostheses, and they allow me to do everything that I did before I lost my leg.  It might be a little bit different but I still do it. and I can’t tell you how important it was to me to have those and I wanted them right away.”

Read the full story at Click on Detroit.


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