Boy inspires bombing survivor to run again

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) – A year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings severely injured Newport native Heather Abbott, she’s now using four different prosthetic legs.

Every step forward hasn’t been easy for Heather. She’s been encouraged by friends and family, and inspired by a 9-year-old boy who’s fighting his own battle.

Dryston McClain of Middletown has a cyst on his brain that leaves him prone to seizures. The Boston Marathon explosions have impacted the boy, who was there that day with his mother. Despite the horrific events of April 15, Dryston has found hope in Heather as she rebuilds her life after losing her leg in the bombing.

Heather has toured the state and country, speaking to people to encourage and inspire them not to give up because of a disability or challenge.

The young boy finally got to meet Heather, and it was a moving experience for both of them.

“Dryston’s mom told me he was going to the hospital,” said Heather, “I went to see him while he was there and brought him a teddy bear like he did for me.”

Once out of the hospital, Dryston, who loves to play soccer, football, and wrestle, attended a talk at Salve Regina where he had a special question for Heather.

“When I took questions from the audience, Dryston raised his hand and asked if I would go on a run with him,” she said.

The boy plans to donate half of the donations he received during his wrestling season to Heather’s foundations because, he said, that’s what friends do.

“It means a lot,” she said, “It’s been great getting to know Dryston and his family and what a selfless kid he is.”

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