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In This Issue:
On April 25, national and local media gathered for a press conference in the Shapiro Breakout Room to hear the story of patient Heather Abbott, whose foot was seriously injured by one of the Boston Marathon explosions.
Abbott, 38, of Newport, R.I., had a tradition of visiting Boston every Patriots Day with her friends to see the Red Sox play and watch the Marathon. She was waiting in line at the Forum restaurant when the second bomb went off.
Exactly one week after the tragedy that brought Abbott to BWH’s Emergency Department, she underwent surgery to amputate her leg below the knee. At the press conference, Abbott and her orthopedic surgeon, Eric Bluman, MD, shared the details of her injuries, surgery, rehabilitation plans and expectations going forward.
“I have been surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of support, patience, care and interest in my story since last week’s event,” said an upbeat Abbott, after thanking everyone for coming.
“If someone told me that I would essentially lose half of a leg by age 38, I don’t think I could have believed it. But I haven’t had a moment yet where I have been devastated. I’ve been meeting with other amputees brought in to speak with me by the hospital, and they have been so positive. I am inspired to be like them.”
Abbott said her decision to amputate was an extremely difficult one, but she believed her chances for getting back to an active life were higher with a prosthetic than with a nonfunctioning foot. Bluman expects Abbott will be ready for a temporary prosthesis, on which she will learn to walk, in six weeks, and eventually, a permanent prosthesis. Abbott expects to attend rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in the near future. She hopes to get back to running, Zumba, yoga and other favorite activities as she continues to heal and readjust to her new life.
“There is no point to dwelling on the negative,” said Abbott. “This is the situation I’m faced with. I’m focused on my recovery.”