TODAY   |  April 26, 2013

Mom, daughter recover from bombings side-by-side

Celeste Corcoran is recovering from the Boston Marathon bombings in a hospital bed directly next to her daughter, Sydney, who was also severely injured in the blast.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:11, it has been 11 days since the tragic boston marathon bombings. natalie met up with one family who she introduced us to on "rock center."

>> a mother and daughter now side by side . celeste cochran lost both her legs in the blast and 18-year-old sidney nearly bled to death from a severed artery. in a "today" "rock center" exclusive i was able to speak to them.

>> i kept saying over and over no, no. in your head you think give me the last five minutes back.

>> reporter: celeste corcoran stood with her husband kevin and daughter sidney at the end of the finish line.

>> before they put me under i wanted to die and i remember thinking like i can't. i can't. i don't want to leave my family. you know? there's still too much to do.

>> reporter: in the blast, celeste and kevin were completely separated from their daughter, while kevin helped celeste, who lost both her legs, bystanders rushed over to take care of sidney .

>> from the moment i got like in the ambulance i wanted to know where they were. i thought i was going to wake up and have no one left but my brother.

>> reporter: tell me about first seeing each other again.

>> it was waterworks. complete waterworks.

>> wasn't a dry eye anywhere. i couldn't get close enough to her. normally i'm hugging her and not being able to physically get up and go to her has been hard.

>> reporter: did you know the extent of her injury yet in.

>> right before they brought her in they made sure they told me so i wouldn't be in shock more than i already was. so i was a little prepared and honestly, the shock wasn't bad at all because i knew i at least had my mother.

>> reporter: there are so many pictures that stay with so many of us. we see all the help, the people who came running to help you, sidney , and a gentleman, matt smith , who you recently met.

>> i wanted to find him and meet him and thank him. he was just holding my gaze the entire time, getting right up in my face, he kept calling me buddy and kept saying i would be okay and to stay with him and keep my eyes open . it was really difficult, just feeling so tired because all of the blood, my lips turned blue, so everything was tingly. i felt like i was fading.

>> what was that reunion like when he came here and you got to meet him for the first time?

>> the moment i saw him walk through that door and just, i just looked at him and i knew it was him, i just started crying, and he got teary eyed and came over and hugged me and he was grabbing my hand.

>> so many people have been so supportive and have come to, you know, offer their support, other fellow amputees, a couple marines.

>> one of those gentlemen, gabriel he has the same injury as mine and he came in here with his legs and i was just amazed. he goes rock climbing , sounds like there's nothing he can't do. granted he's a few years younger than i am but sounds like you know, if you have the spirit and you know that you want to do it, i can absolutely achieve it.

>> and you mentioned of course the most important thing is you have your daughter here celebrating her 18th birthday .

>> yes, today.

>> reporter: today.

>> the marines when they were here, gabriel was liking to say they have two birthdays, the original birthday and the day they got injured because you start a new life.

>> i mean, it is difficult sometimes, like sometimes it really just hits you but other times you're like, wow. you look, that was my life, that happened.

>> there's times when everything just kind of overwhelms you but i just have to really -- i know in my heart that i'm going to be okay. as long as i'm strong enough or want it enough, i will have a different life, a different reality.

>> reporter: you've got your whole family helping you all the way.

>> i do, they're wonderful. i just want to see everything in their lives. i'm not ready to leave. so, yeah, if it's with new legs it's with new legs.

>> and celeste and sidney are getting stronger each and every day. as you know, savannah, with their injuries it's going to be a long road physically and emotionally but they have an incredible support system, their whole family says they're not just boston strong they're corcoran strong.

>> certainly proving that and wonderful the gentleman came and said i have the same injury as you.

>> gabriel ramides, marines, wounded veteran, lifted their spirits when they needed it most.

>> natley, thank you. you'll have a lot more on "rock center with brian williams " tonight