Jenni Carlson: London bombing survivor Martine Wright thrives playing volleyball

She enjoys the freedom the sport brings to her
by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm •  Published: July 12, 2010
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EDMOND — A suicide bomber blew off Martine Wright's legs.

Five years ago this month, she was among the most seriously injured in the London subway bombings. Her skull was fractured. Her arm was mangled.

She was a victim.

Now, she's anything but.

Wright plays sitting volleyball for Great Britain, which is competing at the world championships this week in Edmond. Watch the bright-eyed brunette for even a minute, and you can see her spunk. She dives. She hustles. She cheers. She does it because she can.

She does it because she survived.

"That was a miracle in itself," she said. "There were a lot of people that didn't."

The bombings killed 52 people.

"I think it's just my duty to go out and grab every opportunity that I can."

Wright is doing more than surviving. She is thriving.

Since the bombings, she been skiing and sky diving. She has learned to fly. She got married, walking down the aisle herself on high-tech prosthetics. She even became a mom.

Her son, Oscar, celebrates his first birthday this week.

But in the hours after the bombing, doctors wondered if Wright would make it off the emergency room table alive.

The morning of July 7, 2005, started like any other Thursday for Wright. The international marketing manager was headed to work when she realized that her normal Northern line was down and decided to take a Circle line train. Barely making it through the open doors of the carriage, she took the first available seat.

Only seconds later, one of four suicide bombers to hit London that day detonated a backpack bomb only three feet from where Wright was sitting.

There was only darkness and dust and screaming.

Eventually, Wright could see that her legs were wrapped in twisted metal. There was blood everywhere.

For nearly an hour, she remained trapped in the wreckage. She was the last person removed alive from the Aldgate Tube, but at the hospital, doctors still had to work frantically to save her. She lost nearly three-fourths of her blood.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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