It could be up to seven days before Lee Ann Yanni sees the inside of her home. And once she’s released from Tufts Medical Center, Yanni will make regular trips to the orthopedic surgeon to repair her fractured fibula. The bone burst through the skin on her left leg, requiring a series of surgeries to clean the wound, bring the muscle back together, and cover the hole with a skin graft.
Yanni, a physical therapist, and her husband, Nicholas, were watching one of her patients and friends run the Marathon. They, too, were standing near the running store when the first explosion sounded. They both looked down at her leg, saw blood and bones.
“I kind of jumped into Marathon Sports to try and get a tourniquet on my leg,” she said.
Nicholas Yanni, who suffered temporary hearing loss, said he followed his wife into the store “freaking out. She was as cool as a cucumber.” The couple grabbed shirts from the racks to stem the flow of blood. Then he went to check on the rest of their group, and husband and wife were separated. A friend’s mother, Beth Roche, 60, suffered a shattered kneecap and other injuries as she was thrown to the pavement.
A police officer carried Lee Ann Yanni from the store to the finish line, where a firefighter loaded her into a golf cart and took her to the medical tent. That’s where her husband found her as she was being placed in an ambulance.
Five days later, Yanni said: “I still get nervous with loud noises or something dropping.”
Still, she knows the road to recovery can only be walked day by day, minute by minute. “That’s the biggest thing I tell my patients. If you think of the daunting task of what is all ahead, it just makes you all depressed.”
Connolly, the South Boston grandmother, said she is struggling to reconcile the fact that her injuries were minor when others were so severe.
She suffered a concussion and a high-tech scan revealed the pellet behind her eye. It was removed Friday.
“Do I consider myself lucky in an unlucky situation? I’m really struggling with that.”