TAMPA, Fla. - In the midst of the lively crowd of bystanders at the 2013 Boston Marathon stood Rebekah Gregory with her 5-year-old son, Noah.
"It was unbelievable! The contagious atmosphere, just the excitement in the air with everyone running," described Gregory.
However, that excitement soon turned to terror. Gregory stood at the finish line, cheering on her friend when a bomb exploded just feet away.
"I remember everything. I remember my body being pinned to the ground, my head was the only thing I could move," said Gregory. "My bones were laying next to me on the sidewalk, I was in a pool of my own blood."
Gregory's road to recovery would involve the amputation of her left leg and at least 70 surgeries. While her son, Noah escaped without any physical injuries, emotionally he was scarred.
"There was people's body parts laying all around us that weren't even attached to them anymore," said Gregory. "That was the scene that I saw, but most importantly, that was the scene my 5-year-old son saw too."
Gregory set out on a quest to help her little boy, who was scared to leave the house or even ride his bike. She also wanted to recover from the emotional scars, herself.
"It wasn't until I found specialized treatment like ART that I really found there are quick ways to reprocess your memories," said Gregory.
ART, Accelerated Resolution Therapy, uses a mix of hand-eye movements to reprogram the brain.
"I had been through other therapies so I thought, 'I'll give it a shot,'" said Gregory. "But it truly changed everything for me."
After finding a path to recovery for herself and her son, Gregory started her own foundation, Rebekah's Angels, to help children and families receive therapy and reclaim their lives.
She told FOX 13 the therapy changed her life. Her strength and resilience helped her return six years later to the same spot where she stood in Boston when tragedy struck.
"I was not traumatized, I was not in fear," said Gregory. "I was doing something that I thought I would never be able to do again."
Gregory will be speaking at ART International's Brave B.A.S.H. event in Tampa on November 8. For more information on the event, visit https://artherapyinternational.org/bravebash/.
To learn more about Gregory's foundation that helps children and families battling PTSD, visit https://www.rebekahsangels.org/.