Heather talks about how the Boston Marathon Bombing has altered the perspective of her job in HR and tells her story about losing her lower leg as a result of the bombing.
Summary of Heather Abbott
Heather Abbott is the model of strength and resilience. The Boston Marathon bombing survivor, lost her left leg as a result of shrapnel to her foot. Just four months following the bombing, she was living independently and returned to her job. Within the first year following her amputation, she returned to the activities she loves, including paddle boarding, running and wearing high heels. Heather shares her story with audiences across the country and inspires others with her contagious optimism and thoughtful reflection on her journey. She has become certified as a Peer Counselor by the American Amputee Coalition and is helping other amputees adjust to their “new normal,” as an example of hope and determination. In addition, she is founder of the newly formed Heather Abbott Foundation, which provides prosthetic devices to limb loss victims of trauma.Download Full Bio
On April 15, 2013, what is referred to as Marathon Monday in Boston, Heather Abbott of Newport, RI set out on an annual tradition with six friends. They would attend the Red Sox game, followed by a walk over to the Boston Marathon finish line to watch the runners and gather at the Forum restaurant. However, Abbott would never have dreamed this day would change her life forever.
Heather was struck by shrapnel from the second of the two bombs that day, which severely injured her left foot. Strangers Matt Chatham, former New England Patriots lineman, and his wife, Erin, carried Heather to safety away from the direction of the bombs and saw her to an ambulance that brought her to Brigham and Women’s hospital.
After 3 surgeries in 4 days, Heather was faced with the agonizing decision of whether to try to save her left foot or to allow doctors to amputate her left leg below the knee. With the help of other amputees and the support from hundreds of thousands around the country, Heather made the difficult decision, at the age of 38, to live her remaining years as an amputee and use prosthetic legs.
Just four months following the bombing, she was living independently and returned to her job as a Human Resources Manager, on a part time basis. Within the first year following her amputation, she started participating in the activities she loves, including paddle boarding, running and wearing high heels. Heather currently has four different prosthetic legs and has not let this horrific act of terrorism slow her down. She has become certified as a Peer Counselor by the American Amputee Coalition and is helping other amputees adjust to their “new normal,” as an example of hope and determination.
In addition, due to the fast lesson Heather learned related to the lack of health insurance available for specialized prosthetic devices used for things like running, cycling and even wearing high heels, she started the Heather Abbott Foundation. HAF’s mission is to provide specialized prosthetic devices to limb loss victims of trauma. She hopes to help other amputees get back to living the lives they love by easing the tremendous financial burden that exists in order to do so.
Download Full Bio
Heather Abbott has remained a model of strength and resilience, truly personifying the popular phrase “Boston Strong,” since the city that so many love was shaken by the senseless violence. She is sharing her story with audiences across the country and inspiring others with her contagious optimism and thoughtful reflection on her journey.