By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
Sometimes tragedy begets unexpected rewards. This is one such tale.
Four years ago this coming April, Roseann Sdoia was watching the Boston Marathon from the finish line when terrorists Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan set off two pressure-cooker bombs. Four people died and hundreds were injured; Sdoia was among the severely wounded. She was in poor shape when Boston firefighter Mike Materia carried her to an ambulance and escorted her to a nearby hospital.
On the way to the hospital, Roseann asked Materia if she was going to die. “He told me that I was going to be okay, that I only had a flesh wound,” she said. “I was probably not the nicest to him from the get-go. I was in pain. But now we laugh and blame it on the morphine.”
During the next several months, Mike returned to see Roseann after her right leg was amputated. He was there as she went through grueling physical therapy and helped her find a prosthetic device. Mike also sat with her for hours at doctors’ appointments and supported her as she practiced walking on her fire escape.
What might have begun simply as a fireman’s concern for someone he’d rescued in a life-threatening situation turned into a friendship. Roseann felt the same.
“I knew I was starting to have feelings for him because he was so kind and caring,” Sdoia told the New York Post. “And he has an unbelievable smile.”
Roseann’s mother, however, had a stronger feeling about the two. “In the hospital, my mom tried to set me up with him,” Roseann said. “She was like, ‘Oh, did you see that firefighter? He’s so cute.’ And I was like, ‘Mom, I just got blown up.’”
The couple went on their first date in June 2013. Mike asked Roseann to marry him during the Fourth of July holiday on Nantucket Island. “I do feel that, in a sense, some things happen for a reason,” she told the Post.
Their book, “Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength, and Recovery After Boston’s Worst Day,” will come out in March. The wedding is planned for this coming fall.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and freshman composition at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. In March 2017, Rowman & Littlefield will publish the paperback edition of David’s latest book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever.”