Nearly two months after the Boston Marathon bombing, 11 survivors discuss how they’re healing in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. Sixteen people lost limbs in the blasts, but they did not lose hope. In PEOPLE’s nine-page cover story, they show the world they are on the mend – and are determined to resume their lives.
When they met on April 15 on their way to the hospital, Roseann Sdoia, 45, and Marc Fucarile, 34, were both fighting for their lives. “She kept me awake, telling me to focus on my fiancée and my kid,” says Fucarile, who lost his right leg that day. They’re still turning to each other, like so many of their fellow survivors – whom PEOPLE photographed on May 30 at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Mass. “Marc and his family will be in my life forever,” says Sdoia, who also lost a leg. “The new friends I’ve made, they’re all amazing. I’m thankful for them.” She adds, “There’s no point in negativity. You just have to look forward and do the best you can.”
Mery Daniel, 31, shares that spirit. “I choose to focus on the positive,” she says. “I’m happy to be alive.” Of patients like Daniel, Spaulding’s Dr. David Crandell tells PEOPLE, “It’s been incredible to see their resilience.” After a trauma like this, Daniel, who is studying for the medical boards, says, “You look at people in a different way: what’s inside of them, what defines them.” She adds, “I didn’t have a decision to make about my leg. It was gone when I woke up. To be frank, it wasn’t that emotional. I mean, it hurt. But in the grand scheme of things, I was just happy to be alive. The doctor woke me after surgery and said, ‘You’re very lucky because your heart stopped twice.’”
Professional ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet, 32, tells PEOPLE, “The fact that people truly believe I’m going to dance again has been a big deal. I’ve had studios from all over the country send pictures with little girls holding signs that say, ‘We believe in you, Adrianne!’ That makes me believe it, especially in the hard moments.”
Heather Abbott, 38, says, “When I was in the hospital, Aviva Drescher, one of the Real Housewives of New York, came to visit. She has a prosthetic leg, and it looked just like a real leg. It had veins and a birthmark. Seeing her and speaking to her helped me feel better about what kind of choices I have. It helped me see that some things in life wouldn’t have to change that much. That was a big deal.”
More inspiring tales of hope and healing are featured in the 6/17/13 issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
*Also In This Week’s ‘People’*
Amanda Bynes: “Her Parents Are Extremely Concerned”
Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux: New House, New Plans
Kelly Rowland On Reuniting With Destiny’s Child
Matthew Morrison: “I’m Nervous About The Subway”