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Caregivers become confidantes as Marathon survivors heal

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Tens of thousands cheered when Heather Abbott, a 38-year-old Marathon bombing survivor and new amputee, balanced on one leg to throw the first pitch at a Red Sox game in mid May.

Abbott worked with a team of therapists at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to learn to stand, to balance herself, to walk. When she considered using a wheelchair to get to the mound, they coaxed her — goaded her even — to show the people of Boston just how far she had come.

Far from the limelight, these therapists carved new paths for those most grievously injured by the April 15 attacks, showing them how to live lives that are suddenly filled with countless obstacles.

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