Boston Marathon bombing survivor shares message of gratitude for those who helped her recover

Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Boston Marathon Bombing survivor, Heather Abbott, speaks to the Siskin Possibilities Luncheon attendees Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

In April 2013, Heather Abbott faced the difficult choice of whether to allow her doctors to amputate her left leg. Days earlier, she had been near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs exploded, sending Abbott flying into a nearby restaurant and badly injuring her body.

She underwent three surgeries in four days, but her doctors still believed her best chance at survival would be to amputate her leg. Until then, Abbott never imagined what it would be like to be an amputee, she said. She had many questions and few answers. Doubts and worries.

Then, other amputees began arriving.

"Being able to see somebody and talk to somebody that's been through something very difficult and for them to be able to show you that life goes on is priceless, really," Abbott said.