It was another horrible tragedy when terrorists struck again at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Terrorist attacks wounded 264 and killed three, at the end of the final explosion, there was a massacre on Boylston Street. Blood and limbs lingered all over the place. Screams of horror and agony rang throughout Boylston Street.
Adrianne Haslet-Davis was one of the victims. The thirty-two-year-old is a professional ballroom dance and as soon as the first explosion went off, she covered her face and turned away. An unfortunate second explosion erupted and knocked her to the ground.
It was only until the smoke cleared that Haslet-Davis realized that she was bleeding intensively and when she finally plucked up the courage to look around, she discovered that she left ankle and foot were missing. Haslet-Davis was one of the hundreds of bystanders watching the marathon from the sidelines.
“I remember thinking, ‘terrorist attack,’ right away — I knew just by the sheer force of the ground shaking,” said Haslet-Davis. “I sort of dragged my body with my forearms — I couldn’t get on my knees — but I dragged my body and was clawing at the ground to get over to the door of [a nearby building]. And someone opened the door and grabbed me by my shoulders and dragged me in.”
She was immediately taken to Boston Medical Center and the doctors informed her that they needed to amputate below her knee on her left leg. Haslet-Davis was beyond devastated and all that lies ahead was uncertain, especially because she was a professional ballroom dancer.
There were many difficult challenges that she would face after surgery but that didn't bring Haslet-Davis down. She made a promise to her to stand up and dance once again.
It has been 36 months and she kept true to her promise. She walked, ran, foxtrotted and in 2016 Boston Marathon, she wouldn't be returning as a bystander, but as a runner. Haslet-Davis had been training for the Marathon and had prepared her mind and body to face whatever challenges sprung at her.
She had been through a tough time and because of pure deep inner strength, it took Haslet-Davis 78 days to take her very first unassisted step, wearing a prosthetic, at the Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. With the help of MIT Media Lab director, Hugh Herr, who specializes in bionics, he had built her a bionic limb that enable her to dance with much flexibility.
200 days later, Haslet-Davis stood on stage and danced the rumba.