NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — An incredible story of survival on Nyberg.
Colin Cook, who grew up in Madison, lost a leg to a 12-foot long shark in the waters off Hawaii.
Sydney Corcoran of Lowell, Mass. was at the finish line with her mom in Boston when pressure cooker bombs went off. Her mom lost both of her legs in the bombing and shrapnel went deeply into Sydney’s leg.
The young couple ended up meeting when Sydney’s mom was being fitted for prosthetics at the same time Colin was. They are a couple, alive because strangers came to their aide and saved them.
“When the shark initially attacked me and pulled me under, it’s almost like you’re not making these decisions, you just naturally do them so I was pushing off with my left hand and I was punching it and with the right and that’s how I was able to get free,” explained Cook.
“Unfortunately, I lost my leg above the knee so not having that knee joint is so crucial,” he said. “There’s nothing there from stopping me from collapsing. I can’t manually make my leg bend.”
Corcoran shared her story as well.
“My parents were standing right beside me and as soon as it went off we were all lost to each other,” she said. “I thought that I was an orphan. I didn’t even realize that I was hurt when it happened.”
But, Corcoran herself suffered some injuries.
“I was. I had a piece of the pressure cooker, it went right into my thigh and it severed my femoral artery,” she explained. “I also had a hole blown through my foot.”
“This was right after the bombing,” she said while showing images from that day. “The one with the tattoos on his arm, that’s Zak, That was Joe’s friend, so he’s the one pinching off my femoral artery and the one with the plaid shirt is Matt. He was there right at my face the whole time.”
“He was telling me to squeeze his hand as hard as I could and he kept calling me buddy and he was making sure that I did not close my eyes,” she recalled.
Sydney and Colin have remained very close with the people who saved their lives. With all the tragedy they have been through, they are not letting that define their lives.
Colin is surfing again and he and Sydney have even gone shark diving, facing their fears head on.