Boston Marathon survivor opts to have leg amputated after 18 months of pain

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
(Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope/Facebook)
Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope/Facebook

UPDATE: ABC talked to Rebekah DiMartino following her surgery. Click here to read more.

After 18 months of pain, and 17 operations, a Texas mom injured in the Boston Marathon bombing has opted to have her leg amputated, saying that it will be a "new beginning."

"Hasta La Vista lefty!!" Rebekah DiMartino wrote on her Facebook page Monday morning, just before she underwent surgery.

On April 15, 2013 Rebekah DiMartino(then Rebekah Gregory) and her family were at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the two bombs went off. While her son, Noah,and then-boyfriend, Pete DiMartino, sustained only minor injuries, Rebekah suffered the most severe, with doctors struggling to save her left leg.

Within the 17 operations, doctors installed metal plates, screws and rods, though Rebekah still lost a significant amount of tissue from her leg and foot, including her fourth and fifth metatarsals on her left foot. One of the procedures required Rebekah to have live muscle from her back transplanted to her left foot, and 18 months later her leg would still need more operations to be salvaged.

Since the bombing, Rebekah has been mostly confined to a wheelchair, having a limited ability to walk, and in constant pain. Small steps while wearing her boot-cast leaves her exhausted and hurting. Despite doctors believing her leg still has other options, Rebekah has conceded to the struggle, deciding amputation will allow her to have a more fulfilling life.

"Today is the day I say goodbye to what is holding me back, and I reclaim my life. And man is that a good feeling," Rebekah wrote on Facebook.

Rebekah's family has remained constantly supportive throughout her battles. Pete DiMartino proposed to her while she was in a wheelchair, and the two married in April this year. In September 2013, Rebekah created her Facebook page, Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope with the intention of "giving others hope and encouragement" through her obstacles. Though, Rebekah admits that the positive feedback has also helped motivate her in fighting her physical trials.

In her Facebook posts, Rebekah has remained in high-spirits and with a sense of humor:

"Life is messy and complicated. Sometimes it brings you joy and other times rips your heart out. But you have 2 choices: you can let the negative define you and be miserable...Or you can punch that negative right in the face and go get yourself an amazing pedicure."

To celebrate Rebekah's new journey, her friends and family held a "last supper" the night before the amputation surgery.

After 17 procedures to save her left foot, Boston Marathon survivor Rebekah DiMartino has opted to have her it amputated, saying that it will be a "new beginning."
Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope/Facebook

Her son, Noah, however was heartbroken over the idea of his mother losing her leg.

"Since last April, Noah has bawled his eyes out at the slightest mention of me possibly getting my leg amputated," Rebekah wrote. "As we were on our way to school he started asking me questions about my surgery next week. I could see him trying to process everything I was saying, but he didn't seem sad. Instead with the biggest smile on his face he shouted 'that's so cool! I'm gonna have a part robot mom!'"

She even gave her left foot one last pedicure before the surgery.

"I'm sure it won't come as a shock to you when I say that we've grown apart. The love that we once had has dwindled, and this relationship has become a real burden on my life," Rebekah wrote on her Facebook page in a tongue-and-cheek goodbye letter to her leg. "So with that said, I have enclosed a gift certificate that I hope you will use. Go get yourself one last pedicure on me and enjoy it because tomorrow...I will be cutting you out of my life for good."

After 17 procedures to save her left foot, Boston Marathon survivor Rebekah DiMartino has opted to have her it amputated, saying that it will be a "new beginning."
Rebekah Gregory's New Day New Hope/Facebook

Rebekah undergoes surgery today, Nov. 10 in Houston, and her husband will continue to update via the New Day New Hope Facebook page.

Photos used with permission.