Heather Abbott went on an annual event with friends in Boston eight years ago, on April 15, 2013. Their enjoyable day quickly devolved into a nightmare. Abbott, who was 38 at the time, was standing near the finish line when two bombs burst, killing three people and wounding over 260 others. Abbott was blown into an adjacent restaurant when the second bomb blasted.
She stated that she could see the people running towards her. There was blood everywhere. Everything around her became blurry, and the agony in her leg became unbearable. Her foot felt as if it had caught fire.
The doctors asked Abbott to make a heartbreaking decision after four days and three painful surgeries. They asked if she wanted to live in pain for the rest of her life or have her leg amputated below the knee. Abbott, with the help of her physicians and fellow amputees, decided to have her leg amputated.
She stated that it was pretty unbelievable for her to accept the truth that she is an amputee, and most above all, she now has to learn to do things differently. The emotions were indescribable. Many organizations assisted the victims of that bomb attack.
Abbott thought she would never be able to live her life as she had before, but with the help of donors and doctors, she was able to get a real prosthetic limb that allowed her to wear high heels, walk, and run without assistance.
According to Abbott, she was fortunate to have that prosthetic leg, but many individuals cannot afford them due to the high cost. Almost everything they do is dependent on others. They are unable to accomplish their goals on their own.
So, for such people, she created the Heather Abbott Foundation in December 2014. Her organization has raised more than $1 million and has provided more than 42 amputees customized prosthetic devices across the US.
With these gifted prostheses, they can run, swim, wear high heels, and play sports. Her first recipient was a young girl Kori Tickel, who had lost her leg after a lawnmower accident at 2.
Tickel, a passionate athlete, wanted a running prosthesis that could keep her up with her teammates. Abbott gave Tickel a running blade and has continued to assist her as she grew out of her prosthesis throughout the years.
Now 14 years old, Tickel plays basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, rides her bike, and snowboarding.
According to Abbott, giving the prosthesis is like giving them their dignity. She feels herself healing when she heals others.
“In our world there are far better than nasty people. Two people did this to me, but so many more wanted to help, which I thought was incredible “Abbott stated to CNN. “I, too, wanted to give back.”