On the evening before the one-year anniversary of the day that changed their lives, Roseann Sdoia and Heather Abbott met up for dinner. The two women had been acquainted before shrapnel shredded the lower part of Abbott’s left leg and most of Sdoia’s right leg.
Now they’re fast friends who push and inspire each other and offer support and counseling. The close bonds among many of the bombing survivors, first responders and their families are a reminder that Tuesday’s anniversary is mixed.
‘It’s Still Kind Of Surreal’
Abbott was waiting to get into the Forum on Boylston Street last April when the second bomb went off. Sdoia had just stepped out of the restaurant to look for a friend nearing the finish line.
Abbott and Sdoia had come to the Forum with separate groups of mutual friends. The two women didn’t realize they were both amputees until they saw each other at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. They still have a hard time accepting what happened.
“I’m getting a little bit closer, but it’s still kind of surreal to me,” Sdoia said Monday evening.
“Sometimes I’ll wake up in the morning, to get out of bed, and I’ll look down and realize I have to put my leg on,” Abbott said. “And I think, this is never going away.”
Abbott looked down at her left calf and foot. She was wearing a wedge sandal on her dress-up leg. Dress legs come in different heel sizes. There is an adjustable heel, but Abbott said it is not very stable.
“When I inventoried my closet,” Abbott recalled, “four inches was the most popular one, so that’s what I went with.”
Sdoia wore black sandals. The toenails on both feet were a deep purple. Sdoia’s testing a new way to keep the sandal on her carbon fiber foot.
Walking is “not very smooth,” Sdoia said with a laugh. “At any moment, that sandal could come off. I mean it’s velcroed on right now, to the bottom of my foot.”
Sdoia joked about being jealous that Abbott was back into her tight jeans first, wearing heels first and running, again, first. Sdoia, whose amputation is above the knee, has had a more difficult recovery. But each women feels like she’s constantly being fitted for a new socket as her limb shrinks. Abbott has gone through five different-sized sockets and is due for another. Continue reading