For me, the most poignant part of the trip was walking up to the police officers that we saw and thanking them for their heroic efforts. As someone whose life was saved by a police officer tying a tourniquet on my leg, I have never been able to thank the person who saved my life. And from that perspective, I introduced myself to the police officers we met along the way, told them my story, and thanked them for being the silent heroes as first responders. In doing this, I had the honor of meeting a kind soul named, Derek, a Marine who recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan. He told me about the events of the day and that he was one of the first responders after the first bomb exploded. It wasn’t until I later met some of his colleagues who told me that he literally saved the lives of countless people when. After the first explosion, he ran into a store, grabbed a bunch of shirts, and used them as tourniquets on the people’s limbs.
Being in Boston taught me about the strength of humanity in times of turmoil. It taught me about the tenacity of the human spirit. And it reminded me that the goodness of people always prevails. For me, life with limb loss has been a gift. I have been given opportunities like Boston. But most importantly, I’ve learned that life is about using that which could limit you to make your life limitless.