This summer was shaping up to be a busy time for Sarah Girouard.
She had signed up for the American Lung Association’s 180-mile bicycle Trek Across Maine in June. In August, she was supposed to begin a study-abroad program in tropical reef ecology and conservation on the Caribbean island of Bonaire.
Sarah, 20, is a straight-A student at Northeastern University, majoring in environmental science, with a minor in marine biology.
But she may not be able to participate in either of her planned summer adventures. At the Boston Marathon, she was standing with her friends near the finish line when the first bomb went off.
Shrapnel pierced a bone in her right leg, and she had surgery at Tufts Medical Center to remove a large chunk of metal from her heel, which was fractured. She also sustained damage to her eardrum.
She is recovering at home in Falmouth, Maine, where she is using a wheelchair and crutches to get around and “getting antsy,” her mother said.
“She lies on the floor trying to exercise, but it’s kind of hard with one leg,” Sue Girouard said. “Doctors are scratching their heads. They’ve never seen a hole through a bone like that.”
At her older sister’s urging, Sarah began competing in triathlons in high school, and is a member of the Northeastern Triathlon Team. This semester, she has been doing a co-op internship at Boston City Hall as an analyst assistant for the Geographical Information Systems group.
At Sarah’s request, her parents recently wheeled her around the Boylston Street bombing site and memorial to the victims.
“I just lost it,” Sue Girouard said. “It’s very touching what the people of Boston have done.”
Even though she won’t be riding, Sarah plans to volunteer at the Trek Across Maine for the lung association. “She’s a tough cookie,” her mother said. “A real trooper.”Bella English can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.