BOSTON (CBS) — The last time John Odom was at Boston Medical Center, he didn’t know if he’d ever walk again. He remembers when he first woke up.
“I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know if I was alive. I couldn’t move.”
A piece of shrapnel cut through the outside of his left leg, clear across into his right leg. After eleven surgeries, he moved on to Spaulding Rehabilitation Center. That’s where he took his first step back.
“I surprised the hell out of myself,” he said.
His BMC surgeon remembers how much pressure the medical staff felt.
“There was definitely an overarching theme wherever you went, that the entire world wanted these patients to become survivors,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kalish.
Odom did become a survivor. Monday, he helped raise a Boston Strong flag in front of Boston Medical Center while Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan sang God Bless America. Odom and his wife also gave the hospital a plaque for the wing where he began to heal. “For the Miracles performed,” it says.
The Odoms plan to attend the memorial at the Marathon finish line Tuesday.
“I’ve learned now that you can’t let things like this get in your way and stop you from living your life.”