Erika Brannock waited more than a month and a half for this moment.
The 29-year-old from Ellicott City was the first Boston bombing patient admitted to the hospital and the last to be released and she is thrilled to be home.
“I could see everyone smiling so I started crying,” she says.
Brannock and her sister were in Boston to cheer for their mother as she ran the marathon. As her mother was a half mile away they moved close to the finish line - close to the bomb.
“I just saw flashes of yellow and orange and fell back slowly and blacked out,” she says. “The next thing I remember is sirens and people crying.”
Her right leg is shattered. Her left leg is gone. But she is determined to resume her life as a pre-school teacher and complete her masters.
Medical bills are another challenge. Her friends have set up thebrannockfund.com for donations.
On Monday, they met her at the airport.
“She’s coming home. It’s been six weeks. We haven't been able to hug her,” says Karen Williams.
For her part, Erika Brannock says she is humbled by the support. She still has a long way to go.
“I’m going to have to learn to walk again,” she says. “I’m going to have to change a lot in my life. I’m going to have to be patient as I relearn things I’ve done my whole life.”