Amputees Offer Advice to Boston Marathon Victims

Amputees Offer Advice to Boston Marathon Victims

The images shocked the nation of victims of the Boston Marathon massacre who lost limbs in the attack. One young man lost both his legs. Newlyweds Patrick and Jessica Downs each lost a leg, and Jessica who is a nurse at Mass General is now in danger of losing her remaining foot. A long recovery process is just beginning.

Jennifer DeMartino lost her leg in an explosion at her workplace eight years ago.  

To see more of Jennifer's story click here

She said, “It's an uphill battle, 100%. I remember waking up underneath the building. It took them four hours to get me out. I didn't lose my leg for a month. They did everything they could to save it.”

Now, she undergoes physical therapy at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey. She wore the Boston shirt to show solidarity with people who've lost limbs.

Her advice?  

Take things one day at a time, and know there will be challenges.

She said, “You do things like wake in the night and forget that you are missing a leg and to go to the bathroom and boom you fall.”

DeMartino also knows first hand that a lot of the healing will be of the emotional kind.

She said, “It can be overwhelming but the best advice I can give is keep your spirits up.”

A headline in Thursday’s New York Times, "War and Sports Shape Better Artificial Limbs," points to extraordinary advancements made in prosthetics. Travis Stork from TV’s The Doctors says advances in technology will make recovery just a bit easier.

He said, “A lot of what we have learned taking care of blast injuries has come from the military.”

Six-year-old Jane Richard lost her leg while standing next to her eight-year-old year old brother, Martin, who died in the attack.  

One amazing young man, 13-year-old Will Taylor, will surely be an inspiration to the young victims. He lost his leg below the knee when he was just a baby and was fitted with a prosthetic right away.

He said, “My parents told me I started walking two weeks after I got it.”

He gets around incredibly well.

"I run track and can do pretty much anything else,” he said.

He has got wise advice for such a young man.

"I want to say to the young victims is they have a whole life ahead of them they can do whatever they want.  If you want to do it, just do it,” he said.