NEW YORK (CBS) — Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Roseann Sedoia has been through a lot–but she’s had her firefighter fiancé Mike Materia right behind her the whole way.
The couple, who recently spoke to CBS News’s Tony Dokoupil, were brought together by tragedy. Roseann was watching runners cross the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon when the second bomb went off almost directly behind her.
“I heard and felt the first one go off and then at the second location the backpack was pretty much behind me by two or three feet,” Roseann said.
She lost her right leg in the blast. A stranger applied a tourniquet, and Mike picked her up off the street and held her hand all the way to the hospital, just “trying to keep her calm and myself calm,” he says.
“I was sedated until Tuesday evening and so when I came out between Tuesday and probably more like Wednesday, my mom was like who’s that firefighter?” Roseann said. “And I’m like are you kidding me right now? I was just blown up!”
They’ve been together ever since.
“To try to go back to every-day life is pretty tough,” said Mike. “I was lucky that even Roseann’s friends and family helped me to help them.”
On Wednesday, the couple finished the 40th annual Empire State Building Run-Up together, to raise money for challenged athletes.
After fighting the climb of nearly 16,000 steps, Roseann crossed the finish line–and Mike was there to complete the race too, in full fire-fighting gear.
The couple spent months training for the unusual race.
“It was hard,” said Roseann. “I mean, it was definitely strenuous, but it was mind over matter.”
But she’s used to obstacles. She and Mike managed to fall in love between surgeries, doctors visits, and the long search for a prosthetic leg, as well as intense physical therapy.
“There’s some days when I wake up and I’m like, this sucks, point blank, I don’t want to do this anymore,” Roseann said. “But then there’s always the next day, and, you know, life changes. What can you do?”
Dokoupil asked Roseann if she would go back and do everything over if she could, skipping the marathon.
“So much good has come out of it,” she said. “Obviously Mike and I, our engagement, the love we have for each other. I survived, so I’m very thankful for that–there are people that didn’t. Honestly, I would probably go again.”
Mike proposed to Roseann in December, and they plan to marry this fall.