Boston Bombing Amputees: Tales of Strength & Courage

From left: Mery Daniel, 31; Adrianne Haslet, 32; and Heather Abbott, 38

updated 06/06/2013 AT 6:00 AM ET

originally published 06/08/2013 AT 6:40 PM ET

When they met on April 15 on their way to the hospital, Roseann Sdoia and Marc Fucarile were both fighting for their lives.

“She kept me awake, telling me to focus on my fiancée and my kid,” says Fucarile, who lost his right leg that day.

They’re still turning to each other, like so many of their fellow survivors – whom PEOPLE photographed on May 30 at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, Mass.

“Marc and his family will be in my life forever,” says Sdoia, who also lost a leg. “The new friends I’ve made, they’re all amazing. I’m thankful for them.”

Mery Daniel shares that spirit. “I choose to focus on the positive,” she says. “I’m happy to be alive.”

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