BOSTON (AP) - The last of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing being cared for at Massachusetts General Hospital expressed both hope and uncertainty Wednesday as he was discharged after more than six weeks of treatment.
Marc Fucarile, a 34-year-old roofer, had his right leg blown off in the second of the two April 15 blasts. Ever since, doctors have been fighting to save the left leg. As he was released Wednesday, Fucarile said the leg's health was coming along but that nothing was guaranteed.
An optimistic Fucarile said he was looking forward to walking again and dancing with fiancee Jennifer Regan at their wedding, and playing with the couple's 5-year-old son, Gavin.
Fucarile was surrounded by family members, including his mother and grandmother, as he left the hospital on a stretcher. His next stop is Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, though he said he would be returning to MGH in about two weeks for additional surgery.
Saying he felt good, though still tired, Fucarile thanked the doctors and nurses at the hospital for saving his life, and also thanked "all the perfect strangers who don't even know me who have supported me with their prayers, their thoughts, their donations."
"It's been amazing to see how America is really the most beautiful place you can live," he said.
Fucarile also gave a nod to first responders who treated him after the blast and, according to his doctors, got him to the hospital with only minutes to spare before he would have died.
The hospital was one of several were the wounded were sent after the bombings. MGH treated more than 30 patients, 23 of whom were admitted. All have been released, hospital officials said. Three people died in the blasts, and more than 260 were injured.
Fucarile was among a group of friends from Stoneham who were at the finish line to cheer on another buddy who was running in the race. Two of those friends, brothers Paul and J.P. Norden, also lost one leg each in the bombing.
Fucarile additionally sustained burns and severe shrapnel wounds, including a piece of metal that lodged in his heart.
He underwent a series of surgeries to repair multiple fractures in his left leg and foot, not knowing if the limb could be saved.
"Nothing is guaranteed, and I know that," he said Wednesday. "But (the doctors) said it looks promising. It's looking good, it's doing what they want it to do and now it's pretty much going to be on my end in rehab."
Fucarile and Regan have not scheduled a date for their wedding.
"Not until he dances," she said.
Fucarile, who joked that his fiancee was giving him no choice but to dance, nonetheless said he was confident he'd be able to do that.
"His strength is amazing. He's kept us all strong," said Regan, adding that the family was "psyched" for him to begin the next phase of his recovery.
"We're all blessed and glad that he's still with us and his attitude has been amazing through all of this," said Edward Fucarile, Mark's older brother who postponed his own wedding that had been scheduled for Saturday.
Fucarile was effusive in his praise for hospital staff, noting how they always arranged for him to watch his favorite team, the Boston Bruins, on TV.
"Honestly, I don't want to leave," he joked.