Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Amputee Marines Provide Comfort, Relief to Marathon Bombings Patients

Mother And Daughter Injured In Boston Bombing Face New Future
May 01, 2013 - Forty-seven-year-old Celeste Corcoran is propped up in her hospital bed. In a nearby window is a forest of blooming white orchids from well-wishers. On the opposite wall, a big banner proclaims "Corcoran Strong."

She's recalling how thrilled she was to be near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, waiting for her sister Carmen Accabo to run by. "I just remember standing there, wanting to be as close as I could to catch her," Corcoran says. "I really just needed to see her face."

And then the first of the two bombs went off, throwing Celeste Corcoran off her feet. The noise was deafening — it blew out both her eardrums.


At that low point, a stranger walked into the Corcorans' hospital room — a U.S. Marine named Gabe Martinez. He's a veteran of Afghanistan who lost both legs from injuries very similar to Celeste's.

"He came in and said, 'You know, I was just like you. I was just like this. I felt helpless. I felt like I couldn't do anything for myself.' "

Martinez, who works with a group of amputees called the Semper Fi Fund that counsels severely injured servicemen, was the living proof Celeste needed that double amputees don't have to be dependent invalids.

He was "steady as a rock" on his prosthetic legs, she says. "And he's telling me I can be the exact same way."

Martinez and a fellow Marine, Cameron West, a single amputee, came back for more visits. They've pledged to help Celeste and Sydney through the coming weeks and months.

That was Celeste's third turning point.

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