“I’m never not in pain,” says Catarella, “but it’s to the point where I can get through it. I’m very lucky to be alive.” She knows she’s lucky, too, not to have spine or head trauma.
Catarella’s next challenge is to return to Simmons College, where she had just started studying for her PhD in physical therapy. She is enrolled to start this summer. “I always wanted to help people, and I thought physical therapy would be a good thing,” she says.
Twieraga is throwing a fund-raiser for her on April 26 at Presidents Rock Club in Quincy to help pay tuition (www.felicia.eventbrite.com). Christine Curtis hopes to be there.
The two have met, face-to-face, when Catarella was at Spaulding Rehab, and have stayed in touch. “For someone who has been through what she’s been through, she looks great,” says Curtis.
Despite what Catarella believes, Curtis doesn’t see herself as any kind of hero.
“I just stopped, which is what I hope anyone else would do,” she says.
Bella English lives in Milton. She can be reached at email@example.com.