Update: 10:24 p.m., ET.
2. Rebekah Gregory DiMartino survived the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with all of her limbs, but after more than 15 operations she made the decision to amputate her left leg below the knee.
The 27-year-old is at least the 17th person to lose a leg after the April 2013 attack, the Boston Globe reported.
4. The Texas mom has had a remarkably upbeat attitude about her future, however, and penned a tongue-in-cheek, poignant breakup letter to her soon-to-be-gone leg that she posted on Facebook.
“I feel like you are holding me back from really reaching my full potential,” she wrote on Nov. 9, adding, “I love you. I really do. But I think I need to start on the next leg of my journey.”
On Monday, she also wrote, “Adios leg!!!!!!!!!!”
6. Here’s DiMartino’s full letter:
Hey it’s me.
I’m sure it won’t come as a shock to you when I say that we’ve grown apart. The love that we once had has dwindled, and this relationship has become a real burden on my life. We have been through a lot together. We have seen a lot of places, done a lot of things, and you have helped me through some of the toughest steps thus far. I promise to always treasure that. And I’m not saying this isn’t hard for me. It is. But as tough as it may be, I feel like our time together has come to an end. I need to feel everyday that by having a relationship with you, I am becoming a better person. And for a long while now, I haven’t felt like that. Instead, I feel like you are holding me back from really reaching my full potential. Now I get this is probably pretty tough to hear me say, but I have never lied to you and I don’t plan to start now. What I need is something you can’t give me anymore. And the empathy that you require, I can no longer handle. I love you. I really do. But I think I need to start on the next leg of my journey. So with that said, I have enclosed a gift certificate that I hope you will use. Go get yourself one last pedicure on me and enjoy it because tomorrow…I will be cutting you out of my life for good.
Wishing you the best wherever you end up,
7. DiMartino – the first person to amputate a limb following the surgeries that happened in the bombing’s immediate aftermath – treated her left foot to a final pedicure, and wrote on her badly scarred leg: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
“I stay positive because I don’t give myself another option,” she told BuzzFeed News. “I choose everyday to count my blessings instead of my problems and try to find the beauty in the ugliest of messes.”
9. Electing to save damaged limbs can sometimes be more complex and painful than amputating them, doctors said.
DiMartino’s consistent pain in her leg made her rely on a wheelchair, crutches, and a leg brace, and kept her from living a normal life with her son, Noah, 7, and her husband, Pete, who were also wounded, the Globe reported.
11. The hour-long surgery was a success, and DiMartino told BuzzFeed News that she was “speechless and so grateful” for all of the support.
“As I look down I see that my leg is really gone but there is not an ounce of sadness anywhere in my heart,” she said. “What has been anticipated and stressed about since April 2013 is over and I am moving on to the next chapter.”
13. She maintained her optimistic attitude about a future without her left leg in a post-surgery Facebook status:
Life was never promised to be easy but guess what? That’s ok. Because when we find that silver lining in the toughest of places, it always seems to be worth it. And sometimes that may mean making tough decisions to get rid of what is holding us back. But I’m here to tell you that when that happens…the possibilities are endless. So if that is you today, whatever battles you are up against…rock on!!! Because even though I don’t even have a leg to stand on, I have found my silver lining and nothing can take that away from me.
15. And now DiMartino she says she’s ready to work toward her goal of running the 2015 Boston Marathon on her new prosthesis.
And her surgeon, Dr. William McGarvey, told the Globe he doesn’t think it’s unrealistic.
“Based on what I’ve seen and the amount of commitment she’s put into everything she’s done to this point, and the attitude she has, I wouldn’t doubt it for a minute,” McGarvey said.
DiMartino wipes tears as she is led in a wheelchair across the finish line after the Boston Marathon Tribute Run with one of her nurses, Tracy Kiss, on April 19.
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