Jessica Lasky-Su is doing something she never thought she would do again: running her eighth Boston Marathon.
In 2020, the Newburyport native suffered a terrible injury while skiing and nearly lost her leg.
“At that time I wasn’t even sure if the best possible outcome was walking normally long term,” she said.
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Jessica was skiing with her family in Vermont when she fell on the mountain.
“I twisted my ankle and got a spiral fracture in my tibia and fibula and broke my ankle,” she said. “When you look at the x-ray, it looks like a corkscrew. That is the worst because it’s not stable.”
The news was grim for the long-time marathon runner. Jessica’s leg would not heal. At one point, she was told amputation was on the table.
“It was definitely a conversation that makes you pause,” she said.
In fact, the injury Jessica sustained was similar to what Tiger Woods suffered in a serious car crash in early 2021.
“If you have an infection, particularly in bone or around a fracture, it can be a difficult thing to treat,” said Dr. Michael Weaver, Chief of Orthopedic Trauma at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
After 20 months of surgeries and infections, Dr. Weaver gave Jessica the good news.
“The doctor said to me, it’s healed,” said Jessica. “I looked at him and said, what?”
The very next thought she had was about running the Boston Marathon.
“If this bone heals, this is what I’m going to do,” said Jessica. “I don’t care how I do it. I don’t care if I walk it.”
But she’s not walking. Jessica is running and learning how to do it all over again.
“Every week it was step by step,” she said.
It’s been her toughest training ever, she said, but knowing where she’s been has helped her to get to where she’s going.
“It’s not what happens to you, it is how you respond,” said Jessica. “This is not going to be my fastest marathon but it will be my best.”
Jessica is running for the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation at Brigham and Women’s, which is a foundation named after a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombings.