Boston Marathon survivors find their second chance

April 15, 2013 was supposed to be a day about achievement. Instead it has become a day tarnished by a cruel act of terrorism. From that tragedy emerged stories of heroism and sacrifice. In the past year, the Boston Marathon survivors have become the representation of hope. It is at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where some of these survivors have found their second chance.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is a 262,000 square foot, 132 bed patient-centered facility located in Boston. Under the leadership of Cara Brickley, Jess Guilbert, Dr. David Crandell and David Storto, Spaulding has been able to successfully treat 33 survivors for inpatient and outpatient care over the course of the year.

The group has logged over 1,500 hours of rehab therapy. Many of the survivors who thought that they faced a life bound to a wheelchair, are now walking through the use of prosthetics. These images tell their stories of survival and remind us that no matter how broken things may seem, there is always a second chance if you open your eyes. Within a sports world filled with negative headlines there will always be stories like this to remind you that the human spirit is a beautiful thing.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is honored to have 100 runners taking part in the 118th Boston Marathon as part of Spaulding's Race for Rehab team. The team is comprised of former patients, former patient's family members, Spaulding staff, community leaders, and rehabilitation advocates. The goal of the team this year is to raise $750,000 for Spaulding. For more information on getting involved, visit their team website.

The new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital enabled entirely new ways to engage in rehab medicine including a new outdoor therapy garden that provides ways to practice on a variety of surfaces. Mery Daniel and her occupational therapist Rebecca Buttiglieri worked outside during a therapy session.

Mother and Daughter Celeste and Sydney Corcoran were both injured during the marathon blasts and also recovered together at the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where they were able to enjoy many of the water views the new location enabled.

Spaulding strives to enable all its patients to achieve their highest level of recovery and learn there is a life after a major injury or trauma. The Spaulding Adaptive Sports (SAS) Programs allows patients and community users to experience sports such as golf, adaptive skiing, rock climbing, wind surfing, kayaking and hand cycling so they can enjoy an active life. SAS staff member Zoe Norcross assists survivor Mery Daniel prior to an outing.

Sports are a significant part of Boston’s identity. The support each team provided to the city and survivors helped in many ways. Heather Abbott from Rhode Island had the chance to go straight from her hospital discharge to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch on Rhode Island Day. Her physical therapist Dara Casparian not only worked with Heather to practice throwing with crutches as part of her therapy while at Spaulding but also joined Heather on the mound to support her as she showed Red Sox nation how far she had come. (Photo by Marissa McClain/Boston Red Sox)

Sports are a significant part of Boston’s identity. The support each team provided to the city and survivors helped in many ways. Heather Abbott from Rhode Island had the chance to go straight from her hospital discharge to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch on Rhode Island Day. Her physical therapist Dara Casparian not only worked with Heather to practice throwing with crutches as part of her therapy while at Spaulding but also joined Heather on the mound to support her as she showed Red Sox nation how far she had come. (Photo by Marissa McClain/Boston Red Sox)

Bruins fan, Marc found ways to practice and strengthen so he could be ready when he was invited to be the flag captain on ice during the Bruins Stanley Cup run.

Throughout the Bruins run to the Stanley Cup Finals the team invited survivors to participate as Flag Captains prior to the game. Jeff Bauman and his fiancé Erin Hurley were joined by Bruins Legend and anthem singer Rene Rencourt. In true Boston Strong spirit, Jeff attended the first round playoff game against the Maple Leafs. A few weeks later he stood on the ice for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup, but this time he was wearing his new prosthetics.

Throughout the Bruins run to the Stanley Cup Finals the team invited survivors to participate as Flag Captains prior to the game. Jeff Bauman and his fiancé Erin Hurley were joined by Bruins Legend and anthem singer Rene Rencourt. In true Boston Strong spirit, Jeff attended the first round playoff game against the Maple Leafs. A few weeks later he stood on the ice for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup, but this time he was wearing his new prosthetics.

In this Wednesday, May 22, 2013 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Pete DiMartino, of Rochester, N.Y., raises his arms after completing a physical therapy session at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. DiMartino was injured in an explosion near the finish line, which blew away much of one leg and burned the other. “I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me,” he said. “... I want people to see that this has made me a better person and I want people to become better people through what they see through me.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In this Wednesday, May 22, 2013 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Pete DiMartino, of Rochester, N.Y., smiles during a physical therapy session at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. DiMartino was injured in an explosion near the finish line, which blew away much of one leg and burned the other. “I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me,” he said. “... I want people to see that this has made me a better person and I want people to become better people through what they see through me.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Marathon bombing victim James Costello dribbles a basketball under the guidance of Physical Therapist Lisa Pratt at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston's Charlestown section, Friday, May 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

With a "Boston Strong" sticker on the thigh covering of her prosthetic leg, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia, of Boston, walks between parallel bars at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Friday June 20, 2013, in Boston. Sdoia went back to the hospital to learn to walk with her new leg. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In this Thursday, April 3, 2014 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Marc Fucarile, of Reading, Mass., right, is helped by physical therapy assistant Joy Ross, with rehabilitation exercises on a stationary bike at Spaulding Outpatient Center in Peabody, Mass. Fucarile lost his right leg in an explosion near the finish line of the 2013 race. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

In this Wednesday, May 22, 2013 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Pete DiMartino, of Rochester, N.Y., smiles while talking with his therapist Julia Broyer during a session at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. DiMartino was injured in an explosion near the finish line, which blew away much of one leg and burned the other. “I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me,” he said. “... I want people to see that this has made me a better person and I want people to become better people through what they see through me.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In this Thursday, April 3, 2014 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Marc Fucarile, of Reading, Mass., ties laces on a support for his left leg after rehabilitation exercises at Spaulding Outpatient Center in Peabody, Mass. Fucarile lost his right leg in an explosion near the finish line of the 2013 race. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

In this Tuesday, March 11, 2014 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia works out on a rowing machine at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Sdoia goes to Spaulding twice a week for hour-long workouts with a physical therapist, and then she usually hops on the rowing machine to build her endurance after her therapy session. She aims to run again, a hobby she loved doing before her injury. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In this Tuesday, March 11, 2014 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia adjusts her running blade as she switches her prosthetic legs during a therapy session at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. Sdoia, a runner who did not take part in the last year's Boston Marathon, was with friends in a crowd of fans near the finish line when one of two bombs went off nearby. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

On April 27,2013, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital transferred its operations from its previous facility in downtown Boston to the new Spaulding in Charlestown, MA. The 132 bed is a certified LEED Gold facility has been hailed as a model of inclusive design. Among the 114 patients transferred on that day were 9 marathon survivors including Roseann Sdoia who is being checked in by Maria Almieda of Spaulding Admissions.

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia, of Boston, talks with physical therapist Dara Casparian as she prepares to fit her prosthetic leg at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Friday June 20, 2013, in Boston. Sdoia went back to the hospital to learn to walk with her new leg. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Roseann Sdoia, of Boston, is embraced by her friend Sabrina Dellorusso, left, as they hug standing, for the first time since Sdoia was injured in the bombing near the finish line marathon, at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Friday June 20, 2013, in Boston. Sdoia went back to the hospital to learn to walk with her new leg. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In this Wednesday, May 22, 2013 photo, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Pete DiMartino, of Rochester, N.Y., is followed by his physical therapist Julia Broyer as he finishes a physical therapy session at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. DiMartino was injured in an explosion near the finish line, which blew away much of one leg and burned the other. “I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me,” he said. “... I want people to see that this has made me a better person and I want people to become better people through what they see through me.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

MBTA Police Officer Richard Donahue makes his way on crutches across the gym at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston's Charlestown section, Sunday, May 19, 2013. Donahue almost lost his life after being shot during the crossfire with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in Watertown, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Boston Marathon bombing victim James Costello is stretched by Physical Therapist Lisa Pratt at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston's Charlestown section, Friday, May 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Among the most injured, Marc Fucarile become the last marathon patient discharged from the hospital at 100 days since the bombing, allowing him to go home to his fiancé and son.

Among the most injured, Marc Fucarile become the last marathon patient discharged from the hospital at 100 days since the bombing, allowing him to go home to his fiancé and son.

The connections created by survivors, their caregivers and first responders from across the city was strong. The First Responders Fund donated over $225,000 to Spaulding’s Comprehensive Rehab Program in honor of the work done by staff with survivors. Dr. David Crandell and Marc Fucarile at the event.

The connections created by survivors, their caregivers and first responders from across the city was strong. The First Responders Fund donated over $225,000 to Spaulding’s Comprehensive Rehab Program in honor of the work done by staff with survivors. Dr. David Crandell and Marc Fucarile at the event.

MBTA Police Officer Richard Donahue listens as his wife, Kim, speaks during an interview at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston's Charlestown section, Sunday, May 19, 2013. Donahue almost lost his life after being shot during the crossfire with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in Watertown, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Erin Dostoler, Amanda Ravens, Suzanne Adams, Cara Brickley, Katie Couture, Mary Bures, start of Newton Hills on a training run.

Among the many prominent visitors was Congressman Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly who visited Spaulding to meet survivors before accepting her Kennedy Library Profiles in Courage Award.

Congressman Gabby Giffords also visited with some of the staff including two of the lead physicians Dr. Ross Zafonte, VP of Medical Affairs and Dr. David Crandell, Director of the Amputee Program.

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