ATLANTA - A Sandy Springs double-amputee was nearly to the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the bombs went off, and now he is speaking out about the challenges the victims will face and how he is helping.
Scott Rigsby returned to Atlanta from Boston on Wednesday night. He lost his legs in a car accident 27 years ago when he was 18 years old.
Since then, he is the first double-amputee to complete the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon.
This was Rigsby's second year running the Boston Marathon. He was just past mile marker 25 Monday afternoon when he was suddenly told the race was canceled.
"We saw people tearing up and crying. Nobody could get information," Rigsby said.
Rigsby said complications with his prosthetics and his muscles slowed him down, or he could have been at the finish line when the bombs went off.
"You think there's safety on the race site. You think there's safety at the hospital, and then that's taken away from you," Rigsby said.
Rigsby went by ambulance to Tufts Medical Center for treatment on his legs. The hospital was briefly placed on lockdown during a bomb scare, which turned out to be a false alarm. Once there, he learned what happened at the finish line.
"My heart breaks. Not only for the victims but their families, because this didn't just happen to them. This happened to their families," Rigsby said.
Rigsby said his thoughts are now with the victims, especially those who suffered similar injuries to his own.
"They will never have a normal life again. But they can have a new normal and they can still live an active lifestyle," Rigsby said.
Rigsby was running on Monday for his foundation, which encourages people with limited mobility and missing limbs to be active. He hopes that mission and his message resonate with people he said will need support as they start to rebuild.
"This will pass. I know it doesn't seem like that now, but it will pass and lives will go on," Rigsby said.
On Rigsby's website, there is a link to donate to a fund that will go directly toward helping victims with recovery costs, including prosthetics.