Adrianne Haslet-Davis

As more stories about the victims of the Boston bombings last week are revealed by the media, it is clear that each and every person is so deserving of not only our sympathies, but also our respect. Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a ballroom dance instructor, is one of those survivors — and she is fucking awesome. Haslet-Davis was watching the Boston Marathon with her husband as spectators when the explosions went off.

“I remember two people who looked at me laying there, as if I were already dead… We sat up and I said, ‘Wait, my foot hurts.’ And then he held up my foot and we both just screamed bloody murder,” she said. “I didn’t feel heat from it. I just felt air and then I fell to the ground.”

Some good samaritans carried her away from the carnage, and after being brought to Boston Medical Center, she was treated by a team of incredible doctors. Unfortunately, they were unable to save her foot, a result that Haslet-Davis has addressed with both striking honesty and optimism to the Boston Herald.

“I’ve been better, but I’m doing OK.” When asked about the dark moments, she bellowed, “Hell, yeah, I’ve had plenty. I’ve thrown my walker across the room and haven’t used it yet. But I realized you have to be selfish about the things that matter the most. My husband. The job I love. Dancing is my life. Yeah, having my foot blown off, that really sucks. But I can’t wallow in woe is me.

“I can’t let some (expletive) come along and steal my whole life. So, I’ll dance again. And next year, though I’ve never been a runner, yes, I plan to run the marathon.”

First of all, this woman was in the hospital with morphine pumping through her veins and she threw a walker. She is awesome. Second, it is truly incredible that she’s managing to be so optimistic. When we talk about horrible events like last week’s, the media tends to focus on the perpetrators — a rational and justifiable response, as our country was obviously devoted as a whole to finding out who committed the violent act. Nevertheless, it’s so, so important to focus on the survivors and all those affected. And Haslet-Davis has sentiments for people looking for answers.

“I just want people to know that you can come out of a situation that might seem like the end of the world and come out stronger,” says Haslet-Davis. While I’m typically not the kind of person who believes a single piece of advice should be taken by everybody, I think those words are ones we can all at least consider, if not internalize.

Photo: Arthur Murray Studio