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(NECN: Greg Wayland) - Roseann Sdoia, 45, arrived in the lobby of the sparkling new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Mass., smiling, steady on her crutches, ready for a round of goodbyes, before the short journey home to Boston's North End.
"I'm excited to go home. I’m gonna definitely miss this place."
She’ll miss the Spaulding therapists, the doctors, singing their praises.
"I can tell you a lot if you have hours."
And in a lingering doorway farewell, there were hugs, including one for 20-year-old Northeastern student Shores Salter who picked her up off the sidewalk that terrible Marathon Monday.
"I ran across the street to see what I could do. I saw Roseann,” said Salter. She was calling for help and something about her drew me to her and I went and picked her up and brought her into the center of Boylston Street."
Boston firefighter Mike Materia was there. He'd ridden in the ambulance with her to Mass General Hospital.
He's big and tall and gave her a final goodbye lift, picking her up joyfully, despite her laughing protests.
And mike saw to it that she got a fire engine escort home. A big engine was pulled up to the Spaulding front door.
But before she left, there were more hugs, more goodbyes. She'll soon be fitted with a prosthetic leg. And she's bracing mentally for life after the trauma.
"I think I’m doing okay,” said Sdoia. “Ah, my philosophy has always been - and if you ask my friends - I look at it as, things happen for a reason and, once it's happened, you just have to move forward, because that's what it is. There's no way or no reason to look back and say, why did this happen? Or just focus on the negative. At this point, I just have to move forward."
Her youngest rescuer plans to stay in touch.
"It's just amazing to see such a strong person and this couldn't have happened to a stronger person,” said Salter. “Her willpower throughout this entire thing and her recovery process has been an inspiration to say the least."