Marathon survivor who lost leg ready to move on

Heather Abbott

Last year's Boston Marathon changed Heather Abbott's life.

"I think about it every day. Especially every day when I get out of bed and see that my leg's not there," she said.

NBC 10's Brian Crandall met Abbott two-and-a-half weeks after the marathon. She was at a rehab hospital after being confronted in the days after the bombings with a decision whether to have her damaged leg amputated.

"I really don't think there was a choice. Just the way my life would be, as it was described to me, there was no choice. There was no way I wanted to live my life in a wheelchair, having constant surgeries and being in pain. I barely had to miss a beat. I know I made the right choice," Abbott said.

It was a choice that has brought with it a variety of new legs. There's a high heel one with painted toes, and one for running.

Abbott said she can do most of the things she could before. And while she seems to make it look easy, Abbott said sometimes it's not.

"I don't think I realized how hard it can also be. There's time where it's tough. You lose your balance. You can't keep up with everyone else," she said.

"I think about it because it can still be uncomfortable at times. I still struggle with my right leg bearing most of my weight a lot. And there are just certain things I have to do differently."

But different doesn't get her down.

"I think if someone told me this was going to happen to me, I wouldn't be able to handle it. I think I've surprised myself," Abbott said. "I think I am able to accept things I can't change."

And this year, on marathon Monday, she will not change her routine. Abbott will go back to the place she was last year when the bombs went off.

"I really hate to think that what happened to me results in my not being able to do anything. Even if I can't run as fast as I used to, I can still run. Even if I wobble around in my high heels a little bit, I still wear them. I'm going to go to the marathon and spend the day with friends because that's something I always do and I don't want it to stop me," she said.

Abbott said she hopes this year's event will bring some sort of closure and a new memory of the marathon.