Monday, April 15, 2013 is a date that Roseann Sdoia will never forget. It was the day that she stood near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, cheering on the runners. It was the day that she witnessed firsthand a deadly terrorist bombing, and in her attempt to reach safety, she “basically ran into the bag that had the second bomb in it.”
It was the day that would lead to the amputation of her right leg above the knee. And it was also the day that she met her future husband.
Firefighter Mike Materia was one of her first responders. He helped keep her conscious until transport arrived, and then travelled with her to Massachusetts General Hospital.
Sdoia’s road to recovery has not been easy, and it is not yet over – she only just received a new prosthetic leg that she is learning to walk on. But her support system has stayed strong: her mother; a Northeastern University student named Shores Salter, who first picked Sdoia off the ground after the blast; police officer Shana Cottone, another of her first responders; and, of course, Mike Materia, or as Sdoia calls him, “my firefighter.”
Materia helped Sdoia learn to navigate her fire escape when she was able to return to her apartment. He went with her to every appointment to try out prosthetics. He went with her to an interview at Spaulding, and, when asked who he was, responded, “I’m her fireman.”
“Mike is a little bit different,” Sdoia told Fox Sports. “We’ve really spent more time with each other. As a group, we’re together, but with him, it’s a little bit more of a support system. He’s a really great person in my life, and I’ll always have him there.”
It’s clear that the feeling of a special, close bond is mutual. Last December, Materia had a custom tag made for their dog, which read, “Mike wants to know if you’ll marry him.”
The couple, now happily engaged, have a “How We Met” story that seems more out of the pages of a romance novel than real life, but the story is still far from over. They plan on climbing the Empire State Building together to raise money for charity, and they’re writing a book. Clearly, Roseann and her firefighter have big plans.
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