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September 10, 2013

Marathon bombing survivor says attitude matters

Marathon bombing survivor speaks to Pollard School staff

PLAISTOW — On April 15, Roseann Sdoia did what she loved to do every year. She stood on Boylston Street and watched her friend approach the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

That’s when her life changed forever.

Sdoia, 45, was standing near the site of the second explosion. She was seriously hurt and ended up losing her right leg, just above the knee.

Five months later, the Boston resident is getting used to her new prosthetic leg.

Yesterday, she told her story of survival to the staff at Pollard School.

“When I was lying on Boylston Street,” Sdoia said, “I was asking myself, ‘Do I want to live or do I want to die?’ I felt if I lost consciousness, I would die. I did an assessment of my life and my friends and my family, and decided I didn’t want to die.”

One of the family members Sdoia thought of while lying there was her only sister, Gia Buckley.

Buckley, a kindergarten teacher at Pollard School, thought her colleagues would benefit from hearing her sister’s story.

“Sometimes adversity can bring good things,” Buckley said.

Both Buckley and Sdoia were moved to tears as Sdoia’s story unfolded yesterday in the school cafeteria.

“I remember waking up at Massachusetts General Hospital, and my mind was still a little bit foggy from the medication, but I kept a positive attitude,” she said. “When the doctor told me he had to amputate my leg from above the knee, I think he was shocked. I responded with just one request. ‘Can you at least make it look pretty and make the end of my leg look like a rose?’”

She spoke gratefully of the support she received, including from Buckley and the Pollard School community.

“They held fundraisers for me. The kids made cards and sent them to me,” she said. “Everyone was so supportive and rallied around me. They were unbelievable.”

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