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This is Chapter 7 from my book. No, I haven’t finished it yet. Yes, I am still working on it. I just got an email from Steve, whom this chapter is about, and as the 6th anniversary of the bombing is upon us, I thought it was an appropriate time to share. Steve will always be part of my story. He was there when I desperately needed to not be alone. I was in and out of consciousness, had no idea what was going on, Colton had put me in an ambulance and they wouldn’t let him come, so I was terrified and confused. I don’t remember much about that ambulance ride, but Steve held my hand the whole way. And that is something I will never forget.

Chapter 7: Steve

“How we all came together that day, that’s what’s important to me. Not the evil part of it, but the best of us.” Mery Daniel

A few days before being transferred from Boston Medical to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a nurse came into my room to let me know that the man who rode in the ambulance with me was hoping to see me before he also left for rehab. They rolled him in on a stretcher and when he saw me tears formed in his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. I started crying as well. Our journey is one we will probably never share with anyone else. 

I asked if they had found his son. (Steve had been with his 4 year old son when the bomb went off and they were separated when Steve was injured) They had. He only had a small scratch on his head. Thank God. And Steve? He said he was fine. But I pushed. Really?

Fine?

No.

His leg had been amputated from the knee down.  I cried even more. This sweet man who had been watching the marathon with his four-year-old son would never be the same. None of us would be. 

Tears on both our cheeks, we promised to find each other at rehab. A few days later when I was taken to Spaulding, we ended up on the same floor, and when I saw Steve my first day in the gym for physical therapy, I rolled my wheelchair over to him and he hugged me so tight. Something our hospital beds hadn’t allowed.

We have a bond, one that no one else will ever understand. When Steve testified at Tsarnaev’s trial, he talked about being in the ambulance with me. “I asked her to give me her hand,” he said, “because I wanted to hold someone’s hand.”

Sometimes, in suffering, you need to know you are not alone. You want to know there is someone who has gone through the same thing. Someone knows how you are feeling without having to say anything. Who can cry with you and give you a hug. 

Sometimes you just need someone’s hand to hold. I don’t know Steve very well, but I know he held my hand during some off the scariest moments of my life. That is something I will never forget, and also something for which I will be eternally grateful.

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Now 6 years later Steve is an INSPIRATION! He is doing amazing things in Boston and his son is almost 10 years old! This video is amazing and I just couldn’t be happier for Steve and his family. Proud to call him my friend.

Steve Woolfenden • Adaptive Sports at Spaulding from Design Museum Foundation on Vimeo.