Roseann Sdoia went to cheer on runners at the Boston Marathon finish line four years ago and lost her leg after the pressure-cooker bombs stationed nearby exploded. She didn't know then, but that wasn't all fate had in store for her that day.
As first responders rushed to assist the injured in the chaotic aftermath of the explosions, firefighter Mike Materia found his way to Sdoia, tying his belt around her badly injured leg as a make-shift tourniquet.
He rode with her in the ambulance, comforting her on the way to Massachusetts General Hospital, the New York Post reported.
Sdoia, a long-distance runner, said Materia has been an integral part of helping her get back on her feet, both physically and emotionally ever since.
Continuing on the road to recovery, Materia was by Sdoia's side Wednesday as the pair raced in the Empire State Building Run-Up, a fundraiser for the Challenged Athletes Foundation that helps “people with physical disabilities can pursue active lifestyles,” according to the race’s website.
Sdoia and Materia are now engaged, but it was Sdoia's mother who pushed the pair together as her daughter recovered in the hospital.
“She was like, ‘Oh, did you see that firefighter? He’s so cute.’ And I was like, ‘Mom, I just got blown up,’ ” Sdoia told the Post.
But Materia visited a few days later and the pair struck up a friendship. By June they went on their first date and last month, with the help of the couple's dog, Sal, Materia proposed.
Sal was wearing a special dog tag that read, “Mike wants to know . . . If you’ll marry him.”
She said yes. A small wedding is planned for the coming fall.