PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Heather Abbott was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon — on what had been a beautiful sunny day — when the first bomb went off.
Then a second explosion catapulted her though the door of a restaurant. In tremendous pain — she was rushed to a nearby hospital, where after several surgeries it was determined that her lower left leg would need to be amputated. Three years later, she’s turned a personal tragedy into a public good.
“Absolutely, a lot of good has come out of it. It certainly changed my life,” Abbott said.
Today, she is the head of the Heather Abbott Foundation — a charitable organization that provides customized prosthetics for amputees that allows them to resume life as they knew it — whether that be running a race or wearing high heels.
“Being able to know other amputees and witness them moving on with their lives and doing all the things that other people do and the advanced prosthetics we have today can really give people hope,” she said.
This week she was in Pittsburgh addressing the United Way breakfast and raising money and awareness for her own mission. She even sponsors a team in the Boston Marathon.
“Last year, we had 10 runners who raised over $70,000 and we called them team ‘Limb-it-less,'” she said.
Through her work, Abott has transformed personal tragedy into a mission of healing and recovery reflecting the resiliency of her city and the country at large.