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April 22nd, 2013
11:15 PM ET

Bombing survivor who lost foot: Dance is my life

Dance instructor Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost her foot in the Boston marathon bombing but is determined to move forward. She and her husband, Air Force Capt. Adam Davis, told Anderson Cooper what happened to them immediately following the blast, and why they're so optimistic about overcoming the challenges of Adrianne's amputation.

The 32-year-old crawled on her elbows to find safety in a nearby bar after the explosions. Seeing the severity of her injury, she and her husband, with the help of another person, used belts as tourniquets to try to stop the bleeding.

Adrianne discovered her foot was gone after she awoke from surgery and told her mother that her foot felt numb. She said it was difficult to find out that she was experiencing phantom pains because she no longer had a foot on her left leg.

Over the past week she's processed the horror of that day and the devastating effects, but is determined to dance again. Adrianne has also said she's interested in participating in the marathon next year.

"I don't want this to be the end. So whether it's, you know, running the marathon or walking the marathon or crawling the marathon and being the last one across. I'm OK with that ... But I am defiant and I want to come out stronger," she said.

Adrianne has also accepted another difficult challenge: teaching Anderson to dance. Watch the interview for more of her remarkable story of strength and grace.

If you'd like to help Adrianne and Adam, find more information on http://www.gofundme.com/AdrianneFund

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. maria delaurentiis

    Adrianne you remind my late father who in his 80's lost his foot, still drove and wanted to go dancing. This was not going to stop him from living life. I go out dancing a few times a week (ballroom and latin) and love it. So once your hooked you cannot stop no matter what happens. I would not be surprised if I see on dancing with the stars sometime in the near future. Wishing you speedy recovery and all the very best!

    April 29, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  2. Claudio

    What a wonderfull person. You are a winner.

    April 29, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  3. S.Bala

    I pray for you. Your leg will be alright in another month.
    Don't worry. God is always with the braves.
    Best wishes
    Bala

    April 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  4. Bill

    Adrianne, With all you have gone through recently, you have every right to be angry. Upon viewing your interview with Anderson Cooper, I am so proud of you for being able to put this horribly negative experience into perspective with poise and class, and still have a positive attitude. Your guts and determination for recovery are truly inspiring - to say the least. I can't wait to see you on Dancing with the Stars! Please enjoy the moment. Wishing you the very best.

    April 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  5. Sanjay

    It is hard to get over the anger..since you have not done anything wrong to deserve this. But the good thing is you are strong in your spirits. You have been so close to death and now you are smiling and defiant – defying hate, cowardice, fanaticism- you will stand up and dance. A lesson of hope and courage to the world.
    Keep it up Adrienne and Beat it!!

    April 26, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  6. Sharjeel Ahsan

    Very brave and amazing woman. I pray for her quick healing and respect her. I highly condemn all those responsible for such heinous acts. Being a Muslim myself I know that all those who are responsible for such acts have nothing to do with any religion. Those are sick animals, just hijacking the name of a peaceful religion. We all are sick and tired of such groups who are wrongfully trying to legitimize their acts by naming a religion but ruining the image of more than billion people and making life terrible for many. I hope media and everyone else just highlight them as terrorists and don't associate them to any religion.

    April 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  7. Emmi

    it is wonderful to read about people, who refuse to give up, and manage to find the courage to keep going..

    April 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  8. Austin

    Adrianne, I just cannot believe your positive attitude, it's almost unreal. What an inspiration you are to many. It's hard for me to believe you've experienced a life changing event just a few days ago. You will never know what you've done for someone like me, but I know I won't complain about anything again. In fact, I'm not sad for you at all, I'm so very happy for you. Always been sceptical about making donations, but I couldn't help it this time and I know I'm only donating a widow's mite, but with your kinda spirit, the sky is no limit for you.

    Wishing you all the best.

    April 24, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  9. Robert Kaps

    Adrianne:
    If it is any help, I lost my foot last June and with the help of a prosthesis I am up working on my Ballroom dancing. At age 70, people think that's amazing. If I can do it, great dancing accomplishments lie ahead for you. I shall look forward to seeing you on 'Dancing with the Stars' and beyond. Keep looking forward, keep dancing and keep that Award Winning American smile.
    God Bless you!
    Bob

    April 24, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  10. John Helebrant

    Adrianne is a true inspiration. She has such a positive attitude as a dancer losing a foot. She won't give up and that is truly remarkable. As a musician, I don't know if I could say the same if I lost a hand.

    April 24, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  11. Ferne

    Adrian, I was dancing ballet professionally in the early 1970's. An amazing male dancer had lost his foot in an auto accident. After a lot of rehab, determination and guts he was back performing, wearing character boots instead of ballet slippers. Go for it!

    My challenge : A year ago my right side was paralyzed as a result of a brain aneurysm. Incredible doctors saved my life. My dance training and discipline got me walking without a brace.
    I am also determined to dance again. I will not be able to dance ballet again, but I fully intend to dance ballroom. Will you be my teacher? We both have a challending year ahead. We can do it. What can I do to help you?

    Ellen Ferne Glemby

    April 23, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  12. Jeanne

    Adrianne, You are a lovely person I am really inspired by you and by how you are dealing with your current situation. Please look up Dave Moldover in Baltimore, MD., Dave is a West Coast Swing dance promoter who was in a motor cycle accident and lost his leg. He has promoted West Coast Swing and has created a hugh community in the Washington, DC and Baltimore areas and he dances all the time. I know for absolute certainty that your dancing days are not over. Best of luck to you.

    April 23, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  13. Mythili

    OMG really you are a wonderful women. I am just wondering your brave. I wish you all the best sweetheart.

    April 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
  14. Dawn Lawson

    I am so moved by this young woman. No tears, just motivation to get through and be strong. She is so upbeat and no self pity...I am brought to tears by her courage and strength! I am in awe of her. Boston strong!

    April 23, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  15. Eva

    God Bless you, You are a beautiful young woman.

    April 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
  16. Toshia

    I love your spirit!! Stay strong you two!!

    April 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  17. Terry Sentinella

    What an amazing story. I would be honored to pace her in Boston next year. I have paved over 20 marathons including Chicago twice.

    April 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  18. Don

    A brave young couple. I wish them the best!

    April 23, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  19. dennis crowe

    What an amazing triumph of the human spirit! I pray that God will give her the healing that she needs and that she will be able to live out all of her dreams.

    April 23, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  20. Mark

    There IS hope for Adrienne! A follow up to her story, and possibly someone who could give her some guidance, is the captain of the 2000 or 2001 (I forget which) West Point lacrosse team. He lost a foot (but not his knee) to a landmine in Afghanistan in late 2001 or early 2002. After rehabilitation he was able to play in an Army – Navy alumni lacrosse game that was held in 2003 or 2004 to raise funds for the wounded.

    Adrienne struck me as a very determined person and I wish her the best.

    April 23, 2013 at 10:37 am |
  21. islam hamid

    iam so sorry and sad god with you.

    April 23, 2013 at 10:00 am |
  22. Scott

    Adrianne, You are a amazing young woman. I am truly forever moved by seeing you. Heal quick and I hope to see you at the end of the Boston Marathon 2014. Thank you for the inspiration to keep on going. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    April 23, 2013 at 4:59 am |