DiMartino Siblings Recovering Back At Home In Webster
Updated: Saturday, July 13 2013, 02:09 PM EDT
Webster, N.Y.— After more than month at Boston areas hospitals, both Peter and Gina DiMartino are back home in Webster.
The siblings were injured on April 15 when bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. They underwent surgeries at Boston hospitals and have finally come home to Webster to recover from their injuries.
Shrapnel from the bomb cut a major artery in Gina DiMartino’s right leg. There were also several nerves in her leg that had to be reattached.
“I'll learn to walk again, but I have no feeling from my knee down,” she explained. “I should be able to walk normal again, but since nerve regrowth is unpredictable doctors don't know, they don’t know for sure yet. They can’t tell at this point, but they are hopeful that I will get it all back.”
Meanwhile Peter DiMartino is also recovering from a major leg injury.
There was a 90 percent tear in his Achilles tendon, but doctors believe he should make a full recovery.
“I will be able to run,” he said. “I'll be able to do pretty much anything. I'll just have a couple extra scars on my body that I didn't have before.”
Both Gina and Peter go to several physical therapy sessions as a part of the recovery process.
No matter what, the DiMartinos said they feel very lucky.
“We all still have our legs and both of us are looking at near-total recovery so we're absolutely grateful,” Gina explained.
“Even if I lost a leg, I would be grateful that we're all still alive,” Peter added. “We're all here and God protected us.”
The DiMartinos said that despite their injuries and pain, their spirits are lifted because of their faith and all the support they’ve had from their family, friends and even strangers.
“It's nice to have people visiting [us at home],” Gina said. “The support was overwhelming and it was really amazing. We’re so thankful for it.”
Peter said that on Memorial Day, his friends came over to hang out and they decided to play KanJam.
“Since I had to be in a chair sitting down, they all sat in chairs too—playing KanJam in chairs,” he laughed. “It's a little more challenging, but they were trying to make it feel that I wasn't the special one out of the group.”
“It was pretty funny,” Gina said.
The support has also come in the form of donations. Several fundraisers have raised thousands of dollars for the DiMartino family to help cover medical expenses.
“We’re so, so thankful just for the support, the prayers, the cards, the gifts, the meals that people have brought,” Gina said. “It's been amazing and the whole community has been so supportive. Thank you so much.”
The DiMartino siblings were in Boston on April 15 to watch their mother, Mona, run in the race. It was Mona’s first time in the Boston Marathon, and Peter and Gina wanted to be there to cheer on their mother. Peter’s girlfriend, Rebekah Gregory, her 5-year-old son, Peter and Gina’s sister Kim and her husband also made the trip.
Gina recalled the atmosphere being full of excitement. She even got up at 6 a.m. to go eat breakfast with her mom before the race.
The group got to see Mona run by a little past the halfway mark.
“We watched our mom run by at mile 16 or 17,” Peter recalled. “Then we jumped on the subway and went over to the area towards the finish line and there were tons and tons of people everywhere.”
The group tracked Mona on their phones using an app that allowed people to track the marathon runners. They were waiting for her when the first bomb went off about ten feet away from them.
“I got blown off my feet,” Peter said. “I remember picking my phone off the ground standing up-- not knowing that I had 90 percent of my Achilles tendon torn. We were so blessed to have all the medical people there for the racers. They were on top of us in a matter of minutes.”
Gina was especially surprised how she reacted at that moment.
“I was very calm. I surprised myself. I took off my jacket tied a tourniquet on my leg. My things were lying next to me. So I shoved it in the bag and tied the bag to the tourniquet, so my ID was with me. Then I just laid back down. I was perfectly calm the whole time. It was very strange.”
Gina, Peter and Rebekah were the most severely injured among their group. They were all taken to three different hospitals.
During that time, Peter recalled being very disinterested in the news about the alleged bombers. He joked that there were more interesting Bruins and Celtics games to watch.
“My opinion [of the bombers] is that those guys didn’t care about us, so why am I going to waste my time worrying about or caring about them?” he said.
Looking to the Future
It will be several months before the DiMartinos fully recover. In the meantime, they will be recuperating at their parent’s home in Webster.
However, Peter and Gina see a silver lining to their recovery time.
Peter, a bartender and home brewer, is working on plans to open up a brewery with a friend. He’s even gotten some inspiration from his recent experiences.
“During the bombing, somehow a pull tab of a zipper got lodged into my hip so I came up with the name at the hospital. I’m calling it Hip Zipper Lodge Brewery and Restaurant.”
The plans are still in its early stages but he’s considering a location near Rochester.
As for Gina, she wants to write a book.
“I've always wanted to write a book so I'm excited that now I have a lot of time to do that. I would love to write about the bombing, our recovery, our faith throughout the process and how God has taken care of us every step of the way. “
The DiMartinos said that there is no doubt that they will back in Boston next year for the Marathon. Peter hopes to recover fully so he can run the marathon alongside his mother.
“Boston has always been our favorite city,” Gina explained. “We have a lot of connections there and now, even more so… a big part of us is there. So many people in Boston supported us through all of this, so we’ll definitely be going back.”
For a link to the DiMartinos' fundraising site, click here.
For a link to Rebekah Gregory's fundraising site, click here.
Rebekah is currently recovering from her home in Houston, TX.