A month after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, survivor Marc Fucarile is determined to leave the hospital, though he’ll leave with one leg gone and a body full of shrapnel.
“It’s right on the surface,” says Fucarile of the shrapnel still within his body. “There’s more BBs, like, in my, I got shrapnel in my heart. It came up through a vein and came out in my heart.”
Fucarile’s family, including his fiancée and 5-year-old son, say that the 34-year-old’s heart, while littered with shrapnel, is still as big as it’s always been.
“He’s still that strong kid with the big heart that would do anything for anyone and what they did to him that day didn’t destroy who he is,” said Fucarile’s sister, Stephanie Baron, in an interview airing Friday at 10 p.m./9 CDT on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.
Baron has started a fund to help her brother pay his mounting medical bills.
Fucarile, 34, was at the April 15 marathon celebrating Patriot’s Day when the two bombs exploded. He still remembers everything about what happened that day -- the moment his right leg was blown off and a firefighter put a tourniquet on him.
“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,’” said Fucarile of the firefighter who helped him.
When Jen Regan, Fucarile’s fiancée and the mother of his son, saw him, she said she didn’t recognize his burned face.
“He was like, looked like he was 400 pounds and his skin was not his skin,” Regan said.
Since April 15, one of Fucarile’s family members has stayed at his side every minute of his recovery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“We’ve seen the progressions, we’ve seen the setbacks, but in our world, it’s still April 15,” said Fucarile’s father, Eddie.
It’s still unclear when Fucarile will leave the hospital, but he dreams of getting back to a “regular life,” where he can take his son to baseball games.
Through countless surgeries and screams of pain in the middle of the night, Fucarile’s family says the Boston man has not uttered a word of self-pity.
“They did what they wanted to do, terrorize us, but they’re not going to terrorize the spirit and our strength for our son,” Eddie Fucarile said.
Editor’s Note: Harry Smith’s full report on the Fucarile family airs tonight at 10pm/9CDT on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.