Nightly News   |  October 06, 2013

Boston marathon amputees make strides toward recovery

It’s been six months since the Boston Marathon terrorist attack that killed three and wounded many others. Now, some of the survivors are lacing up with the aid of prosthetic limbs and trying to regain their footing I life. NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it has been almost six months since the boston marathon bombings that killed three people and left many others horribly injured. the phrase, "boston strong" with are heard a lot in the days after the tragedy. and today we saw just how strong are some of them who took the next big steps in their lives.

>> reporter: on a field in boston this morning, an amazing display of courage and strength. at a running and mobility clinic by the challenged athletes, people of all ages and skill levels trying to regain their footing in life. something heather lost when a bomb blast as she watched the finish of the boston marathon in april ultimately cost her her leg.

>> it feels like reaching another milestone and getting back to the way things used to be. you know, kind of a step in the right direction.

>> a brand new --

>> reporter: heather received her first running leg at a ceremony last night. her fourth prosthetic so far. and this morning she took her first steps on that new artificial limb. the thought of actually running again no longer seemed impossible.

>> when i first had to experience using it, i thought, i'll never -- i'm never going to be able to walk. and i did it.

>> reporter: celeste lost both left legs in the bombing. what she didn't lose was her determination.

>> if you know that the exercising that you need to do is going to get you your independence, then you're going to do it.

>> reporter: they often find strength in numbers .

>> they get to see other athletes doing things that they thought me might not be able to do.

>> reporter: coaches and mentors are paired with amputees. at celeste's side, gabe martinez who knows a lot about overcoming adversity. he lost both of his legs in combat in afghanistan.

>> i tell them don't push too hard, take it day by day , and just live your new life.

>> reporter: cheering each other on as they champions toward life take another step toward independence .

>> both women say they have good days and bad days but try to stay positive and focus on the future.