US She nearly lost her leg in the Boston bombing, then raised millions for research

20:25  15 april  2018
20:25  15 april  2018 Source:   nbcnews.com

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Before long she made close friends on her hall and shared her story: She had nearly lost her right leg in the terror attack on Marathon Monday. Now her family is launching a campaign to raise million for trauma research , which they hope will eventually help others at risk of losing limbs.

Recently she nearly had a panic attack at the airport when a woman set a backpack down next to her suitcase: "My brain goes to ' bomb .' " The Million . Swamped: Houston-area flooding. Gregory lost her leg as a result of injuries sustained in the Boston Marathon Bombing .

Five years ago this Sunday, Gillian Reny was an 18-year-old high school senior standing with her parents at the Boston Marathon waiting for her sister to cross the finish line.

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Then , a second explosion knocked her to the ground. She landed in a fetal position, her eyes Haslet-Davis was one of the many bystanders at the Boston Marathon bombings — the April 15, 2013 And while the precise timing of the events is hazy, she says she can still recall nearly every detail of the

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Then the bombs went off, killing three people and injuring hundreds, including Reny.

The blasts sent shrapnel tearing into her right leg, and she was rushed to Brigham and Women's Hospital, where doctors and nurses fought to save the limb. They used tissue from her abdomen to keep blood flowing to her leg, and they used a stabilizing rod to hold the bone in place.

It was far from a sure thing at first, but as the months passed, it became clear that they could keep her leg intact.

Grateful as she began to recover, Reny and her family asked how they could thank the doctors.

Their answer was to establish the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund, which has raised more than $11 million since 2014 to support trauma research. That research got a physical home last year when the Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation opened at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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A woman who lost a spouse in the Boston bombings will receive more than million . The average 9/11 fund award, she noted, was million , with payments ranging from 0 to .6 million .

"We wanted to do something to show our gratitude to the hospital and the doctors," Reny, now 23, said in a recent interview. "How could we possibly thank them for all that they had done for us and our family?"

The fund has given nearly $1 million in grants so far, including $100,000 to Matthew J. Carty, a reconstructive plastic surgeon. Carty, who is working in conjunction with MIT, is looking to improve the way amputations are done, so surgery patients are left with a "smarter stump" that is capable of greater sensory feedback, which would improve feeling and movement.

"We're trying to develop a system-based approach to taking care of people with limb loss," said Carty, who has treated Reny.

Other doctors who have received grants are searching for new ways to heal wounds and exploring how stem cells could help regrow bone, according to the hospital.

Reny, who studied the sociology of health and medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and now lives in New York City, working as an assistant buyer for Bloomingdale's, is encouraged to see how the research funded by the center is beginning to help people.

Still, the anniversary of the bombing each April 15 can be difficult. She plans to spend the day with her family, after running in the Boston Athletic Association's annual 5K on Saturday. And on Monday, she'll be cheering on Brigham and Women's Hospital's Stepping Strong Boston Marathon Team.

"This time of year can be a little more challenging than other times," Reny said. "My family has done a really good job of turning what happened, and all of the anniversaries, into something positive."

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