BOSTON (CBS) — Roseann Sdoia can be a tough critic, she’s in building management and development, but from the moment she was wheeled into Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, she knew the place was different.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports on survivors’ journey

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“I was just amazed at that big blue wall that you see when you walk in,” she said. “I was very excited to come here.”

So was her friend and fellow bombing survivor Heather Abbott.

To donate: Heather Abbott fundraising page

“It has such a great, upbeat atmosphere, the facility is beautiful,” she said.

All 132 patient rooms are private. The views are spectacular and, for Heather, powerfully symbolic.

“When you’re in your hospital room alone and you’re dealing with this terrible tragedy that just happened, it helps to look out the window and see the City of Boston,” Abbott said.

Oz Mondejar is Spaulding’s Vice President of Human Relations. He says patients and staff weighed in on every aspect of the hospital’s design; completely accessible check-in desks, wheelchair-height sinks, guest beds in every room.

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To donate: Roseann Sdoia fundraising page

Just a wave near a motion detector opens doors and the hospital even created an apartment to help patients prepare for their new reality outside the hospital.

Patients regain strength in a state-of-the-art gym and therapeutic pool with controlled currents and temperature.

So helpful, Roseann and Heather now return to Spaulding to exercise and yet it’s not the features and equipment that helped the most, they said, but the staff.

“A lot of people who work here I consider family at this point,” Roseann said. “They’ve been here through thick and thin.”

Dozens of those doctors and therapists will run the Boston Marathon to raise money for Spaulding, another step in a year of healing.

“I think that whole week ending with the marathon is going to be a milestone for me to move on,” Heather said. “I’ll definitely be there.”

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