Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky have fought their way back from hell.
Standing at the Boston Marathon finish line five years ago, the newlyweds were in the destructive path of two bombs that exploded on a sunny and clear April day. Each lost a leg. Evenually, Kensky would lose both.
After years of surgeries, constant pain, physical therapy and psychotherapy, Downes and Kensky finally find themselves in a good and happy place.
“It’s been an exhausting, emotional investment for both of us,” Downes told CBS News. “We’ve had to work really hard in individual therapy, in couples’ therapy, to make sense of all this.”
One thing that brought a lot of sense to their journey was a black lab named Rescue, a service dog that has been at Kensky’s side for more than four years.
He is highly trained and extremely goofy.
“He just makes us laugh all the time,” she said.
As part of their healing process, the couple has written a children’s book about life with their four-legged family member. Rescue and Jessica, A Life-Changing Friendship, chronicles the love and friendship between a girl named Jessica and her service dog.
Downes said they decided to write their book for children instead of adults “because it’s so fun.”
“We’re hoping kids are going to stare at these pictures. We want them to ask questions of this book. I think we’re trying to give parents a tool to navigate discussions with people who look different,” Kensky said.
When Kensky was faced with having to have her other leg amputated because it was not healing, Rescue helped with that loss as well.
“He’s just softened every rough edge and brightened every dark moment. I call him my best medicine,” she said.
Rescue's love for Kensky is unflappable, says her husband.
“He will do anything for her,” he said. “To us, he’s also the embodiment of all the people who have come into our lives in the last five years and have done anything for us.”