Kaitlynn Cates went to the Boston Marathon to cheer on her friends. She was about 50 feet from the finish line when the first bomb went off, throwing her to the ground and injuring her leg. She was there with Leo Fonseca, 41.

“Leo tried to hook his body around me,” Cates recalled in a statement released by Massachusetts General Hospital.

“He literally straddled me and said, ‘Stay down. Stay down.’ Because I was trying to get up and he didn’t know if there was going to be another bomb. Bodies had fallen back on us and I started to crawl under them to get away.”

Fonseca wrapped Cates’s injured leg in a blanket and his sweatshirt, picked her up and carried her to the alley where he had parked his car. There, strangers came forward to help.

One helped elevate her leg. Others directed traffic out of the alley. Fonseca maneuvered through the chaotic traffic and delivered Cates to the hospital. She was the first victim to arrive.

Leo “saved my life,” Cates said “He’s a true hero.”

According to a Web site created to raise money for Cates’s recovery, her leg has been saved.

“I’m definitely going to rise above this,” she told Fox News. “It’s always going to be a scar, but I’m not going to let them win. I’m not going to let them stop me from living a normal, happy, healthy life.”

Emily Langer