By Mary Bubala

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)—For the first time we are seeing and hearing from local teacher Ericka Brannock.  She was severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15.

Mary Bubala reports she’s speaking about surviving the ordeal and her emotional and physical scars.

Brannock was in Boston with her sister Nicole Gross, cheering on her mom, who was nearing the finish line when the bombs went off.

“I remember everything kind of slowing down and then just falling back in slow motion. Everything went quiet,” Brannock said.

For the first time, she is speaking out with her family, and we are seeing her injuries.

“I have a leg amputation above the knee on my left leg. And then I have broken bones in my right leg. I have a big chunk of one of my bones, I believe it’s the fibula, missing from my right leg. And then I have burn marks on the back of my legs and some hearing damage too,” she said.

Brannock has had multiple surgeries to save her right leg.

She still faces months of rehabilitation before she will able to walk with aid of a prosthetic leg.

The Towson pre-school teacher wants to continue working with children.

She says one of the hardest things about her recovery in Boston is knowing one of the suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was being treated at the same hospital.

“When I would have to go in for surgeries, I would pass by the ICU, where he was, you know? I started having nightmares that he was gonna get out of bed, come up to his room. I thought he was gonna blow the hospital up,” she said.

A photo of her sister made headlines across the nation. The sisters were rushed to separate hospitals but talked every day.

“We were able to communicate our love for each other in a way were weren’t before,” Gross said. “We were right on top of each other when it happened, when the bomb went off. And we’re gonna be side by side no matter where we are forever.”

Brannock is expected to return home from Boston in the next few days.

Her mom  is running in the Howard County Strides Run in Columbia on Sunday.  It will raise money for the fund that benefits her daughters.

If you like to find out more about the race, or the Be Strong, Stay Strong Fund, click here.


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