Boston Bombing Victim Returns Home To Charlotte


by Audrina Bigos

CHARLOTTE, NC- A Charlotte woman injured in the Boston Marathon bombings returned home with her husband Saturday.

Nicole Gross was smiling and holding back tears as she landed in Charlotte with her husband Michael on Saturday.

"It's the first time we're back in Charlotte. It reminds us that the last time we were at the airport, we were flying up there," said Michael Gross.

Their trip to Boston a month ago turned tragic. While waiting for Nicole's mother near the finish line, Nicole suffered two breaks in her left leg and a severed Achilles tendon in her right during the first explosion.

"This is not going to define us. It's just going to move us into a new life path. Whatever we're going to end up doing now is going to be better than what we were doing before," said Nicole.

 After a month of recovery and rehab at Boston hospitals, a small group of family and friends embraced the couple who finally could come home.

"When we were in the hospital with her, it's not all smiles. But to see them today, they just had a different glow to them," said Brian Gross.

When Nicole and Michael arrived at the airport, Nicole told her family and friends that the last month was "overwhelming" and a "roller coaster". But now, since they're back in Charlotte, she says phase three begins.

"Focus on recovering. It's going to be a long road and I don't know how long it's going to take for me to feel 100 percent again but it's just one step at time, one day at a time," sad Nicole Gross.

The former athlete and personal trainer says she will have to learn how to walk again. But her active days are not over.

"It's just who I am - a strong healthy individual and I will do whatever it takes to get back to that point," said Nicole.

Nicole's sister, Erika, lost her leg above the knee during the explosion. She's still recovering in the hospital.

The Be Strong Stay Strong fund has been created to help pay for the family's medical expenses.

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