Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength, and Recovery After Boston's Worst Day

Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength, and Recovery After Boston's Worst Day


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Four lives brought together in a deadly moment prove that being in the wrong place at the worst time can lead to life's biggest adventures and most important relationships

As Roseann Sdoia waited to watch her friend cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, she had no idea her life was about to change-that in a matter of minutes she would look up from the sidewalk, burned and deaf, staring at her detached foot, screaming for help amid the smoke and blood.

In the chaos of the minutes that followed, three people would enter Roseann's life and change it forever. The first was Shores Salter, a college student who, when the bomb went off, instinctively ran into the smoke while his friends ran away. He found Roseann lying on the sidewalk and, using a belt as a tourniquet, literally saved her life that day. Then, Boston police officer Shana Cottone arrived on the scene and began screaming desperately at passing ambulances, all full, before finally commandeering an empty paddy wagon. Just then a giant appeared, in the form of Boston firefighter Mike Materia, who carefully lifted her into the fetid paddy wagon. He climbed in and held her burned hand all the way to the hospital. Since that day, he hasn't left her side, and today they are planning their life together.

Perfect Strangers is about recovery, about choosing joy and human connection over anger and resentment, and most of all, it's about an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston's worst day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610397001
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Roseann Sdoia is a public speaker and advocate for challenged athletes. She was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, a suburb north of Boston. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts/Lowell, she moved to Los Angeles where she began her career in real estate management. After two years working in LA and then Florida, she realized that all of her vacations were spent traveling home to New England, so she returned to Boston. Dedicated to both her professional and personal lives, Roseann's circle of friends and family is legendary - even her trauma surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital gave up on his "one guest for only fifteen minutes per hour" rule when he saw her line of visitors stretched down the hospital corridor. She is committed to one day running the entire 26.2 mile Boston Marathon. In November of 2014, she completed her first 5K race since the bombing so she is on her way. Perfect Strangers is her first book.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Two Years Later 1

1 Vertically Challenged 5

2 Before 19

3 The Little White Sock 31


5 Boston's Finest-Police Officer Shana Cottone 75

6 Awake 95

7 The Kid with the Tourniquet 123

8 Let the Healing Begin 145

9 One Step at a Time 173

10 Genie-The New Normal 189

11 Two Steps Forward, One or Two Back 201

12 The Brothers and Their Bombs 217

13 The Last Half Mile 225

Epilogue: Moving On 233

Resources: For Those Not as "Lucky" as I Was 239

Acknowledgments 243

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Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength, and Recovery After Boston's Worst Day 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
I received a free electronic copy of this memoir from Netgalley, Roseann Sdoia, and Perseus Books Group, PublicAffairs Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your hard work with me. The Boston Marathon is a big deal. It is the oldest foot race in America, with a 120 year history, and in the 2013 race over 23,000 runners from around the world participated, and an estimated one million spectators lined the race route. This is an intense read, very detailed and honest, by one of Boston's April 15, 2013 Marathon's 264 injured, one of the 16 who lost limbs from the two pressure cooker bombs planted in the last mile of the marathon. We see the tragedy from the eyes of Roseann Sdoia, one of the injured spectators, Officer Shana Cottone, a member of Boston's finest, Boston firefighter Mike Materia, and Northeastern University student Shores Salter, a young man who ran into the smoke. This is a tribute to the spirit of Americans everywhere who charge into danger to protect others. But the most important points in this memoir are about healing, taking back your community, and getting through the fear. It's a really good read, a very positive how-to book on surviving and thriving despite terror. The 2016 marathon had 27,491 participants - 4,562 applicants had to be turned away as the field was capped at 30,000. Half a million street smart, savvy spectators lined the 26+ mile course, knowing what to look for, and how to be safe.