Former PBC woman makes comeback at Boston Marathon

BOSTON, Mass. - Many of the runners and spectators said the true inspiration behind Monday's Boston Marathon was to 'reclaim' the race's finish line, a year after it was blown apart by bombs.

For a year, the phrase 'Boston Strong' has been heavily used, but perhaps the meaning of that phrase is best embodied by a woman with deep south Florida roots.

Lee Ann Yanni, who grew up in Palm Beach County, is alive to tell her story. "I remember hearing the explosion," she said. "I felt something warm brush my leg. Just thought something went wrong or something hit me. All of a sudden, I looked down and saw my bone was sticking out."

She was just ten feet from the finish line.

Her husband, Nick, was right by her side.

Both were spectators cheering on a friend. The sheer volume caused permanent damage to Nick's ear drum.

It was Lee Ann who took the brunt of the blast.

"The bone was coming out in this area here," she said of her severe injuries. "It was shattered all the way down to my lower ankle."

It is what she did since she was hurt that may epitomize what it means to be Boston Strong.

"To not being able to put weight on my foot, to learning how to walk again to now running 26.2 miles," she said of her latest accomplishment.

Lee Ann not only bravely returned to the marathon finish line, she said she chose to cross that finish line and take it back.

"One year later. We're so much different," she said. "We're so much better than we were."

"To see her as a whole recover and to go through the whole process, she was determined from the very beginning," said Nick.

Like many south Floridians who were participants in the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, Lee Ann and Nick are already pondering a return to the race next year. "I've been learning what you have inside," she said. "I'm definitely stronger than I thought I was."

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