AUSTIN (KXAN) - At least 11 of the survivors of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings lost limbs. The road ahead for those patients will no doubt be difficult.
But there are people in Austin who testify there can be brighter days ahead.
"Definitely getting better and better," said Nathan Beels as he entered St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital in central Austin Wednesday for his twice-weekly rehab appointment.
In March, 2012 a motorcycle Beels was riding crashed into another vehicle in the Barton Hills neighborhood of South Austin.
The accident left him with a broken neck, broken ribs, a lacerated knee, shattered pelvis, damaged organs and broken toes.
"It was about as close to death as you'll probably get," he said.
He spent three weeks in a coma.
"When I first woke up I was still completely in a daze, I didn't really know what was going on."
It took him a while to realize his left leg had been amputated.
"It was shocking to see, but at the same time, I had so many tubes and machines hooked up to me and open wounds everywhere."
Doctors at St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital said the road to recovery begins when amputees process and accept what has happened to them.
"Other patients, you know, they get depressed and they feel they're not going accomplish certain tasks, and it takes those patients that much longer to get there," said Dr. Juan Latorre, medical director of the Spinal Cord and Amputee Program at St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital.
Two months after his accident, a stranger visited Beels' hospital room.
"He walked right in. I had no idea he was an amputee," Beels said. "He was telling me how he was into triathlons and stuff like that. He's out running, riding and swimming. So, it was cool to see somebody that early off on the injury, somebody out and doing stuff."
That visitor, invited in by hospital staff, planted a seed. Beels started focusing more closely on his rehab. He set a big goal for himself.
"I was going to wave skate before the year was up. That was my main goal."
Nine months after setting his goal, Beels achieved his dream of wake-skating, which is a form of water skiing.
"Dec. 7 I went out with some friends and accomplished it," he said. "That was one of the best feelings I've had so far."
Beels also offered some advice of his own to the amputee victims in Boston.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel," he said, "you are able to do anything and everything that you always wanted to."
Family and friends held a vigil Wednesday at the State Capitol in hopes that a Bastrop man can win a new trial.
An unusually cold blast of arctic air arriving early Thursday will be followed by an increasing chance of freezing drizzle/rain and sleet by Friday morning.
The HealthCare.gov website is working more smoothly for central Texans.
City leaders in West Lake Hills discussed the ongoing concern with the city's water system Wednesday night. The problems arise when water is needed most; fighting fires.
Federal, state and local authorities on Wednesday arrested 15 people and seized 70 firearms in raid on a methamphetamine operation based in Burnet County.
Former Georgetown Police Officer Stephanie Brown said her ex-boyfriend, former Round Rock Officer Eric Poteet, made up accusations against her after she broke up with him.