Steven Senne / AP, file
Marc Fucarile, center, holds hands with his mother, Maureen Fucarile, left, and his fiancee Jennifer Regan, right, in his room at Massachusetts General Hospital on May 9.
One hundred days after the Boston Marathon bombing that took his leg, Marc Fucarile left Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on Wednesday -- the last of the wounded to head home.
It will be Fucarile’s first time home in more than three months, NBC News affiliate WHDH reported. The bombing survivor, who stood with the help of crutches on Wednesday, told reporters he is looking forward to getting married to his fiancée.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to just being able to walk down the aisle, and then, hopefully, dancing should be an option, I hope,” Fucarile said. “We’re planning it hopefully to be soon.”
Recovery has been a long road for the 34-year-old roofer whose heart still carries shrapnel from the homemade pressure cooker bombs that went off while he stood near the sidelines watching the marathon, a beloved annual rite for Bostonians.
Fucarile, who is engaged and has a 5-year-old son, was sped from the chaos of Boylston Street immediately after the bomb blast to the hospital by first responders. He spent 45 days at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was one of the last victims to head from the hospital to rehab when he moved to Spaulding.
A firefighter put a tourniquet on after his right leg was blown off by the second of two bombs that detonated near the race's finish line. The shocking aftermath was still vivid when he spoke with NBC News in May.
“I’m like, ‘I don’t want to die. I got a little boy and I got, you know, my fiancée. I don’t want to die.’ He’s like, ‘Just think of them. Just think of them. Keep them on your mind. Just hang in there,” Fucarile said.
A month ago, Fucarile said he could hardly wait to get out of his hospital bed.
“It’s tough,” Fucarile told New England Cable News at the end of June. “I mean, real tough. I don’t want to be there, you know? Like anybody. But you have to be.”
Family members have said they have been by Fucarile’s bedside every day since the bombing, taking off whole weeks from work and using up their vacation days to help their son, father, and friend get back into shape.
His father, Ed Fucarile, was among those who attended the arraignment of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on July 11, and wore a Boston Strong T-shirt with his son’s name on it outside the courthouse afterward. He said he “expected a lot more” than he got from the hearing packed with survivors and their families.
Fucarile’s fiancée released a statement amid the outrage last week after Rolling Stone magazine’s August issue featured a story on Tsarnaev titled “The Bomber: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam, and Became a Monster.” Some felt the magazine’s cover photo glamorized the suspect, and Fucarile’s fiancée, Jen Regan, called the image “disgusting.”
“For over 3 months now, Marc has had to wake up every day in a hospital dealing with pain, dozens of surgeries and intensive rehab therapy,” Regan said in the statement. “Our entire family has been focused on Marc’s recovery while we anxiously await when he can return home.”
The massive medical bills Fucarile has incurred over his treatment and hospital stays may still loom large over his family even after he leaves the regular care of doctors. A payout from the One Fund Boston, which raised nearly $61 million as of June 29 to help victims and their families, should help, but may not cover everything, Fucarile said in an interview with Boston radio station WBUR.
“I mean, the One Fund’s a great thing, I can’t believe how many people have stepped up. The good that’s out there in this world is just phenomenal, phenomenal,” Fucarile said. “And you know we’re all hurting. I don’t know what my outcome’s going to be when I get out of here and what kinds of bills I’m going to have. And that’s starting to stress me out.”
First published July 24 2013, 7:51 AM