Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to a speech by Heather Abbott, Boston Marathon Bombing survivor and amputee, at the annual Convention of the Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island held at the Hyatt Regency in Newport. Heather lives in Newport so our group was fortunate to be having our Convention in her hometown which made it easy for her to come and join us.
Heather started off by briefly re-telling her story of what happened on the horrific day of the Boston Marathon Bombing just over two years ago. Heather and a group of friends were gathering at a restaurant near the finish line of the marathon when the bombs exploded, and Heather was seriously injured. Her injuries were so severe that doctors amputated her left leg about a week after the bombing. She is one of several amputee victims from that dreadful day. Despite the enormity of the obstacles that Heather has dealt with over the past two years, it was so uplifting to hear her state that she has decided to “turn her mess into a message”.
Heather explained that while the past two years haven’t been easy, there have been a lot of positive outcomes that have resulted from the trials and tribulations of the many victims. From the strong bonds that have developed among those who were wounded, to the veteran amputees who have reached out to help, to the myriad of customized prostheses available (including one which allows Heather to wear 4 inch heels!), Heather described how she has tried to focus on the positive side. In a way, it’s almost as though she has been given a platform to use to help others because of the notoriety of the Boston Marathon Bombing.
In her speech, she focused on three life lessons that she has learned from her experience which can be applied to everyone in all facets of life. They are:
- Accept what you can’t control.
- It’s ok to rely on others for help.
- Pay it forward.
It’s really quite inspirational when you think about it. A woman who had her leg amputated in one of the worst events in recent American history has come out of it with those three very important, and true, life lessons. Heather has chosen to Pay It Forward by creating the Heather Abbott Foundation which helps to provide customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through traumatic circumstances, with a special focus on women and girls. To learn more, visit www.heatherabbottfoundation.org. Thank you to Heather for sharing her story of resilience and optimism in the face of extreme adversity. She truly is an inspiration. #Boston Strong #HeatherStrong
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