TODAY   |  December 20, 2013

Boston bombing victim finds love in rehab

James Costello, who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombing, fell in love with nurse Krista D’Agostino, to whom he is now engaged. He tells TODAY that he was “glad I got blown up,” so that he could meet the love of his life.

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

>> about a touching love story rooted in tragedy. the boston marathon bombing is a day no one wants to remember but for one victim this was a day both his recovery and his love story began.

>> reporter: it's a photo we will never forget. especially james costello who was with friends cheering on runners at the boston marathon finish line when two bombs exploded. moments before this photo of costello was snapped, he had pulled two rusty nails from his stomach. he was treated on the streets with burns covering his arms and legs and multiple shrapnel wounds. he spent two weeks at massachusetts general where he underwent multiple surgeries. president obama stopped in to lift his spirits. rehab treatment followed. a time where he says he wondered what good could possibly come from such a tragedy. there he would find someone else who would lift his spirits forever. costello met krista in passing. she was a nurse on a six week temporary assignment. that lead to a first date followed by 8 inseparable moments all leading up to him proposing to her in france. costello shared his happy ending on facebook writing i now realize why i was involved in the tragedy. it was to meet my best friend and the love of my life . we're so pleased to have james costello and his fiancee krista with us. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> more importantly, congratulations.

>> thank you so much.

>> post a picture on facebook and everybody is talking about it. are you surprised at the reaction this has gotten?

>> yes.

>> yeah. i think we're surprised. we wanted this reaction from our friends and family. we didn't know it was going to be the whole world.

>> yeah, but the whole world wants to say congratulations and they love hearing this story. so tell it again, james . you're in rehab and you see krista ? was it love at first sight ? were you thinking of romance in that moment?

>> no. yeah. i had noticed her in passing and shortly after that she came into my room to cover a lunch break and changed the dressing on my leg and still no thoughts of that and then after we realized we had some mutual friends and we started talking and i invited her to a benefit.

>> and you had taken care of a lot of boston bombing survivors. something stood out about james .

>> yeah. that smile. we had mutual friends and everyone was kind of, oh, look at this. on to the next one as far as different benefits and fund-raisers that we went to together and then here we are.

>> think about what a year it's been. that imagine of you coming out of the boston marathon attacks. it seems to me in the last year you have seen the worst and now you have the best.

>> yeah. one thing that she hates that i always say is i'm actually glad i got blown up. i wish everyone else didn't have to. but i don't think i would have ever met her if i didn't. so yeah, i'm pretty happy.

>> i do hate when you say that.

>> but it's from the heart. and we're so happy you found each other in the midst of all of this. thank you for being here.

>> thank you so much.

>> congratulations.

>> and i won't ask you what everybody asks engaged couples. when are you going to set the date? keep us posted.

>> absolutely.

>> have a great holiday.