CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nicole and Michael Gross aren’t the kind of people who seek attention. Their homecoming on Saturday at Wilson Air in Charlotte is a reflection of their humility.
About two dozen friends and family members gathered early with posters, flowers, and signs.
Nicole Gross walked through the door on crutches, beaming, sometimes through tears. Michael was never far. The room was often silent, with the Gross’s hugging their friends and speaking through whispers.
The couple was injured in the Boston Bombings and each underwent several surgeries. Nicole for a compound fracture to her left leg and a nearly severed Achilles tendon.
Michael for burns and wounds. Nicole’s sister, Erika Brannock, remains in Boston. She lost a portion of her left leg in the bombings, as the three watched for Nicole and Erika’s mom to cross the finish line.
Michael and Nicole sat down with NBC Charlotte and talked about the bond that kept them strong and about the moments when they couldn’t find each other.
“I knew he would find me. It’s kind of an indescribable feeling to not know where your partner is. He’s done so much. I can’t imagine my life without him,” Nicole Gross said of her husband.
“There’s always a little wonder on how it will be. She is a fighter. She showed with each obstacle that she faced, what she’s able to overcome,” said Michael Gross.
Nicole Gross says she will use social media to keep in touch with her sister, Erika Brannok. She said it was hard to leave her in Boston where she is still undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.
And that picture that circulated around the world after the bombings is not how Nicole sees herself today.
“Now I want to be a face of strength and perseverance. And I’m happy to give back and show that’s much more than that picture. And fear is not going to weigh us down,” she said.
There will be a fundraiser for the Gross’s. Be Strong, Stay Strong will be held at the Charlotte City Club June 26, 2013 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tickets purchased before June 15th are $100. After that date, they will be $125. For more information go to www.bestrongstaystrong.net