UNCW student back from NY after receiving prosthetic leg from Boston bombing survivor

Published: Jun. 8, 2016 at 10:05 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2016 at 12:54 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - UNCW student Savannah Booth is back from New York after receiving a new prosthetic leg from a Boston bombing survivor's foundation.

"I plan on living my life normally," Savannah said.

The 21-year-old was born without a fibula bone; her leg was amputated before her first birthday.

"Growing up I knew nobody," she said. "I really was the only amputee that I knew of."

For years she suffered through painful and ill-fitting prosthesis -- that is, until Tuesday.

Boston bombing survivor Heather Abbott gave Savannah a new state-of-the-art leg through her foundation, the Heather Abbott Foundation, and A Step Ahead Prosthetics out of New York.

"It's not so much about what other people think or trying to avoid stares," Savannah said. "It's more about me looking down and feeling psychologically whole and that something is not missing. I'm just like everybody else."

But Heather and Savannah became friends long before they met on Tuesday. Savannah had reached out to her after the bombing to provide support, but also admired Heather's new donated prosthetics.

"I think that stuck with her and she realized that prosthetics are so expensive and there's lots of young women just like me and they would love to have the opportunity. It helps them have a better quality of life,"added Savannah.

So about a year ago, the Heather Abbott Foundation was born, providing high-tech prosthetics for amputees, who couldn't afford one otherwise. Savannah was the fourth recipient.

Now back in Wilmington, she's doing something that wasn't always easy.

"Something that other girls do and now I can do too," she said, trying on new sandals.

But shoe shopping is just the beginning. For Savannah, her new leg means a new life.

"It was a horrible feeling just knowing that I could do so much more but couldn't but now that dream has come true for me and I want more people to know about Heather's foundation so that they can get the same opportunity," Savannah said.

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