It was more than 50 days go that Erika Brannock, a preschool teacher in Towson, was waiting near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, ready to cheer her mother on. As we reported back in April, Brannock was critically wounded in the attack. She finally left Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the last of the victims of the bombing to be discharged.
Brannock still has a long way to go. Her left leg was amputated above the knee, and she’s undergone 11 surgeries, two unsuccessful muscle grafts, and numerous skin grafts. (Donate to Brannock’s medical fund here.)
According to the Boston Globe, Brannock maintained a remarkably positive attitude throughout the ordeal. She decorated her room in Ravens purple and images of dragonflies, which she sees as symbols of strength and courage. Her hospital stay was enlivened by visits from actors Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner and phone calls from Ray Lewis and Cal Ripken, Jr. Her reaction? “I freaked out.”
In a press conference after her discharge, Brannock offered words of hope: “I will use what I’ve learned to pay it forward. I know the road won’t be easy, but I will remain Boston Strong as I move forward. Thank you, Boston. Thank you everyone.”
And if anyone knows the identity of the brown-haired woman who identified herself as “Joan from California,” and who helped save her life, Brannock wants to know so she can thank her personally: “I honestly don’t believe I’d be here if it weren’t for her.”
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