Former UT swimmer injured in Boston, released from the hospital

Former UT swimmer injured in Boston bombings, released from the hospital

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Michael and Nicole Gross (Source: Facebook) Michael and Nicole Gross (Source: Facebook)
Nicole Gross is undergoing therapy and rehabilitation after being seriously injured in the Boston bombings. (Source: WSOC-TV) Nicole Gross is undergoing therapy and rehabilitation after being seriously injured in the Boston bombings. (Source: WSOC-TV)

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A former UT swimmer injured in the Boston marathon bombings is out of the hospital and taking steps towards recovery and the road home to Charlotte, N.C.

Nicole Gross and her husband, Michael, were near the finish line when the bombs went off. Nicole suffered multiple compound fractures to her legs. Michael had third degree burns along with cuts and bruises to his head and face.

Nicole spent 27 days at a hospital in Boston, Friday she left the hospital to begin her recovery and rehab at a facility in Boston.

"This isn't going to affect me. It's not going to weigh me down," Nicole said in her hospital room in Boston.

It's been a long road since that tragic day at the marathon, her injuries were extensive

"I feel the mixed emotions of sadness and confusion still," she said.

Nicole has been through several surgeries, working to fix both her broken legs. For the last month she has been working tirelessly at physically therapy to get back on her feet.

For Nicole's former swimming teammates back in Knoxville, Nicole's move from the hospital to rehab is great news.

"It's been really hard to think about Nicole in a hospital and having to go through the traumatic events in Boston. As a teammate that you trained with and knowing how physically and mentally capable she is, we as her teammates wanted to be there for her as part of her recovery," said Cortney Piper.

Just last week, Piper and half a dozen teammates helped raised $25,000 at a 5K to go towards Nicole's recovery.

"It's great to know she is responding to well wishes and prayers and she's getting better and moving on to rehab," Piper said.

It's rehab that involves more than just physical therapy.

"Talking with a therapist, for sure has helped. I was meeting with someone soon after to talk through it," Gross said.

Discussing that day is difficult but she's determine to keep fighting, and allow it to motivate her, not define her.

"I'm a much better person," she said, fighting back tears. "It's taught me a lot about myself."

 

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