Reporting Christie Ileto
BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Erika Brannock returns home for the first time since she nearly lost her life at the finish line of the Boston Marathon back in April. After months of rehab, the Towson pre-school teacher left Kernan Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Christie Ileto has more on the emotional homecoming.
Brannock was all smiles as she left Kernan Hospital on Monday. She says the last couple of days have been both mentally and physically challenging, but there is one thing she has learned: she is much tougher than she had thought.
With her mother and aunt behind her, Brannock wheels out of Kernan Hospital on her own Tuesday wearing a big smile.
After weeks of physical therapy, she’s heading home, but not before telling us how excited she is.
“It’s like a weight is lifted, and I can finally go back to a semi-normal life,” said Brannock.
Brannock and her sister were waiting at the finish line of the April Boston Marathon for their mother when the bombs went off.
Brannock’s lower left leg was amputated, and she says now, it’s about adapting.
“I haven’t figured out what my new normal is yet,” said Brannock. “I know that my first goal is to be able to walk on crutches by the end of September.”
“She can get from like a four-inch step up into a wheelchair with just minimal assistance, so I’ve been impressed,” said Brannock’s mother, Carol Downing.
Before arriving at Kernan Hospital, Brannock spent nearly a month recovering at a Boston hospital, but in Baltimore, she was able to check one of her goals off her bucket list: she was reunited with the woman who helped save her life, Amanda North.
“Every day, I’ve thought about her. I’ve prayed for her, and I’ve wondered what happened to her,” said North.
Brannock is recovering quickly.
“When we first got here, they gave her a discharge date of the 18th, and I’m going, ‘there’s no way,’ and here we are,” said Downing.
While she wheels out of Kernan, Brannock says she is taking some real life lessons with her.
“I definitely have those moments of ‘why me? why me?’ but I’ve gotten to the point where something good is going to come out of this…and it might just be that I’ve been an inspiration to other people,” said Brannock.
Brannock wants to walk on crutches soon because she is in a friend’s wedding.
“I spent a lot of money on this nice long dress and I don’t want to sit on it,” said Brannock jokingly.
Brannock now transitions to outpatient therapy and is expected to have more surgery in four-six weeks.