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About 10 victims of the Boston Marathon bombings are still recovering at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown — adjusting to a new normal. Mery Daniel, who lost her left leg and suffered other serious injuries, was released Thursday. She will continue to recovery on an outpatient basis.
"Excited that I'm leaving, but still a little apprehensive of not knowing what lies ahead," Daniel said.
What lies ahead is a life of adjustments. She, her husband and their daughter have to find a new place to live because of the steep stairs in their current second floor apartment in Mattapan. She is learning how to get around with the use of crutches, a walker and a wheelchair.
Daniel is preparing for her first prosthetic; she'll have many over her lifetime.
During her stay at Spaulding, Daniel has been getting a lot of advice.
One of the other victims, who also lost a leg, delivered a necklace to Daniel on her last day that read "Never give up." There's a bracelet with the same message, too, given by a military veteran who's lost all four limbs.
"He talked about mostly life and what you're going to be facing and how to embrace life, and also he talked a lot about the prosthesis, because he had different types of prosthesis, and how to use them," Daniel said. "And how to dance. He taught us a few moves, how to dance. I love dancing. I'm actually going to get a few courses."
There's been another special visitor: Daniel's 5-year-old daughter who'd had nightmares after seeing her mother in Mass General Hospital for the first time. Her Spaulding visit was different.
"She was more relaxed and she was more into playing and she hugged me a few times, but she's still a little bit afraid of the leg," Daniel said.
As she was leaving Spaulding, Daniel was thinking about all the things she wants to. "I want to go a barbecue for Memorial Day. I want to go back to life," she said. But she's still thinking through life. Like whether she'll resume her preparations to be certified to practice medicine in the U.S.
"Right now, I'm focusing all my energy into getting better physically, but I'm still thinking about what I'm going to do," Daniel said.
But there are some places she definitely wants to go, she says, for closure.
"I love Boylston and Newbury street. I don't want to be afraid of that street," she said. "I want to go back to enjoy walking that street and go shopping."
This program aired on May 24, 2013.
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