Towson Bombing Survivor Returns to Boston Marathon 1 Year Later

The Towson preschool teacher went to watch her mother complete the Boston Marathon.

Erika Brannock, right, with her best friend Jill at the Boston Marathon waiting at the finish line. (Credit: @BIDMChealth)
Erika Brannock, right, with her best friend Jill at the Boston Marathon waiting at the finish line. (Credit: @BIDMChealth)
After the Boston Marathon bombings, Erika Brannock had her leg amputated, but that didn't stop her from walking across the finish line this year.

"If I don’t ever go back to a race, what’s that teaching them?” Brannock said of the children she teaches at Davenport Preschool in Towson, in an interview with Baltimore magazine.

This week Brannock, 30, used her prosthetic leg to cross the finish line at an invitation-only ceremony where President Barack Obama spoke about the spirit of freedom, perseverance and overcoming, surrounded by first responders and victims from last year's bombings, Fox 11 reported.

As part of her healing process, Brannock put an angel figurine and two pieces of shrapnel that doctors removed from her leg in the spot near the finish line where she was standing when the explosion occurred, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Brannock, who had been at last year's marathon to watch her mother finish the race, was the last of the bombing victims discharged from area hospitals, spending 50 days at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to the Boston Globe.

Since her leg was injured and had to be amputated, she's had 18 surgeries, the most recent of which was in February, according to NPR. Her right eardrum reportedly still needs surgery due to damage from the blast.

Davenport Preschool in Towson, where Brannock works part-time, joined with her former employers Graul's Market and Trinity Episcopal Church to form the Erika Brannock Fund, which has helped pay for her medical bills, including a $50,000 prosthetic, Baltimore magazine reported.

During Monday's Boston Marathon, Roland Park Country School tweeted that employees were in running clothes and the school made a donation to the Erika Brannock Fund.

Also on Monday, Brannock planned to watch her mother cross the finish line in Boston, WBAL reported.

Her mom, Carol Downing of Monkton, completed the course in 4 hours, 56 minutes and 50 seconds, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

"This is the last step to be able to fully move forward and put the past behind me," Brannock told Baltimore.



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