My best friend Natalie Stewart, age 26, was an unfortunate victim of the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Natalie was one of many innocent bystanders who were standing near the site of the first explosion, cheering on friends who were participating in the race. Natalie sustained extensive damage to her arms and legs. Her right leg had to be amputated below the knee. It was so badly damaged that it could not be repaired. She also underwent surgery and skin grafts to repair the damages to her arms. Her doctors stated that she will likely need another surgery in the coming days.
I’ve visited Natalie every day since the bombing occurred. She is traumatized and in a lot of pain, but she is extremely hopeful and positive. She said she feels like a quilt someone stitched together from broken pieces. Natalie has a long and painful road to recovery ahead. Fortunately, she has a strong support system in her family and friends who are sticking behind her 100%.
I’ve known Natalie since middle school. She has helped me get through many difficult experiences in my life. She’s the type of friend you can always count on to be there when you need it most. She’s extremely selfless, kind, giving, and loyal to the core. I’m devastated that this horrible happened to her, but I’m grateful that her life was spared and she’s still here with us fighting. She has an adorable baby boy (James) and he is her reason for living, and the reason she won’t give up. Natalie’s parents are looking after the baby, but he misses his mom so much. We took him to the hospital to see her and he kept on saying “mama, mama”, with arms outstretched trying to grab her. Natalie’s arms need a lot of time to heal, but I know she’ll be holding her baby boy again in no time.
With medical expenses rising, Natalie’s mom and I decided to setup a fundraiser page for her. She has a long, long road to recovery ahead and will not be able to work for some time. She needs all the financial support she can get. We’re asking everyone to donate whatever they can, no matter how little – anything helps. If you’re not able to donate, please share Natalie’s fundraiser link with your friends, or visit her page to post well-wishes and words of comfort.
Please continue to pray for Natalie and everyone affected by this tragedy. There are some who were more seriously injured, who are still in ICU, and still fighting to live. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them and their families.
via Jessica Romero is a GGA Reader and a true friend. Let’s help her help her BFF.