Saskatchewan

'Stay positive': message from Boston Marathon bombing victim

Roseann Sdoia says she remembers everything from the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon. She was at the finish line when the explosion took her leg.

Roseann Sdoia woke up after the bombing to find her leg amputated

Roseann Sdoia is sharing her story about recovering after the Boston Marathon bombing. (Submitted by Roseann Sdoia)

Roseann Sdoia says she remembers everything from the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon. She was at the finish line when the explosion took her leg.

Sdoia had walked to the finish line to watch her friends cross the line.

 "We stepped out there and it was a gorgeous day," she said.

She thinks she was standing there for about 15 minutes before it all happened.

"The first explosion went off and then about 12 seconds later the second explosion went off.... Found myself sitting on the ground and it was kind of just a crazy scene."

She wasn't aware at the time of the damage done to her body. Her right leg was tucked under her so she didn't see it, although she did see blood. She describes the scene as chaos.

"Initially, I was thinking that I was going to die right there, unless someone helps me."

No choice but to amputate leg

It took only a couple minutes for someone to move her from the scene and for first responders to start treating her. She was taken to the hospital and wasn't awake when the decision was made to amputate her leg.

"I woke up to it," she said.

Stay positive regardless of how difficult it's going to be.- Roseann Sdoia

Her first moments as an amputee were more lighthearted than some would expect.

"Quite honestly, I get along really well with morphine, and I was cracking jokes," she said. But her future would prove more difficult, as she adjusted to life without a leg.

"Do I hate it? Absolutely," she said. It's difficult for her to get around, and it takes a lot of dedication to adjust. She does a lot of physical therapy, and says only now after all these years has she perfected walking. But she's still grateful to be alive.

"Life is good," she said.

Roseann Sdoia works at a physical therapy session. (robostrong.com)

Sdoia has four prosthetic legs — for walking, running, biking, and a cosmetic dress up leg. She has run a 5km race since 2013, but says it was very difficult and plans to work up to it before trying again. 

Her current life motto is to keep moving forward.

"Really, to accomplish what you want, you have to stay positive regardless of how difficult it's going to be. You can have your bad moments and just allow yourself to have those and then once you're done just pick yourself up and start back where you were."

Sdoia is the keynote speaker at the Saskatchewan Marathon pasta dinner on Saturday.