Victims in recovery: Heather Abbott


Heather Abbott, 38, of Newport, R.I. (Family Photo)
April 22, 2013

After her doctors spent a week trying to save it, Heather Abbott lost her left foot to surgery Monday afternoon, another in a series of devastating injuries wrought by the Boston Marathon bombing.

Abbott, 38, had taken the train up from her home in Rhode Island for last Monday’s Red Sox game. The Sox had all but defeated Tampa Bay when Abbott and her friends left Fenway Park to hit the nearby bars. She was the last of her friends waiting to get into Forum on Boylston Street when she heard the first blast.

“I heard a big bang and saw people screaming and panicked,” Abbott said Friday, when she still hoped her left foot might be saved.

Abbott saw smoke swirling and people rushing into the bar — but she didn’t make it inside. The second bomb exploded, and a piece of shrapnel hit her foot. “Who would help me now?” she remembers thinking.

But a woman came to Abbott’s aid, dragging her inside the bar. Abbott’s friends crowded around her. One used his belt as a tourniquet for her leg, and she was carried to an ambulance on a makeshift cardboard stretcher. “I saw blood trailing behind me,” she said. “My friends kept saying, ‘We won’t leave you.’ ”

She finally made it to the hospital. Her left foot was shattered, with damage to the bones, tendons and nerves. Monday’s surgery was her third, according to a friend, Jason Geremia, who was camped out in the hospital recovery room.

“Her spirit is unbelievable, the way she’s handling this,” Geremia said.

Suzy Khimm

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

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