Even in the face of great tragedy, love will find a way. James Costello, a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing who was injured in the blasts, proposed to a nurse he met during rehabilitation. According to Boston Magazine, Kristina D'Agostino, who worked with 31-year-old Costello in recovery, said “yes” while the couple was on a cruise in Europe for survivors and first responders of the Boston bombing.
Costello, who is from Malden, Mass., less than 10 miles outside Boston, was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 when the bombs exploded. He and his friends, three of whom lost legs, were among the 260-plus people who were injured in the bombing.
A photographer captured Costello in the immediate aftermath of the blast. The photo, which was widely circulated in the media, shows Costello staggering away from the finish line, his clothes shredded to tatters and his skin badly burned and punctured by shrapnel.
According to the Associated Press, when the iconic photograph was taken, Costello had just pulled two rusty roofing nails from his abdomen. He was taken into medical care and spent two weeks at Massachusetts General Hospital, undergoing several surgeries. He was among the injured survivors who met President Barack Obama.
Costello, who worked at Harvard University as a campus services employee, suffered severe burns and needed pigskin grafts on most of his right arm and right leg, AP reported. After his two-week stay in the hospital, Costello spent another two weeks at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where he met D'Agostino.
"As you all know, April 15th was one of the worst days of my life, as I suffered not only physical injuries of my own but emotional difficulties when I learned about my friends. I soon wondered why and for what reason this had happened," Costello posted on his Facebook page, according to WCVB. "After sharing a handful of conversations, I realized not only how beautiful she was but also what a kind heart she had. I somehow convinced her to attend a benefit with me, which turned into a few dates, which turned into a few inseparable months."
Costello posted a photo of the engagement ring to his Facebook page. "I now realized why I was involved in the tragedy: It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life. Eight months later, I'm happy to announce that we will spend the rest of our lives together," Costello posted.
According to The Daily Mail, during rehabilitation, Costello underwent daily physical therapy to strengthen his leg muscles. Metal shrapnel is still making its way out of his right arm.
Costello and the friends who were with him at the finish line had met in elementary school or through youth clubs. They grew up together in the small town of Stoneham. Costello’s friend Marc Fucarile was the last survivor to leave the hospital. He was out of commission for 100 days, receiving treatment for a piece of metal lodged near his heart, among other injuries.