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There are 16 people whose legs were blown off in the Boston Marathon bombings — Celeste Corcoran lost both. Sixteen people who have taken — or are likely to in the coming months — their first halting baby steps on prosthetic legs, leaning on walkers or parallel bars. It’s a long-anticipated moment that has produced surprising emotions. They have been hit hard by the finality of their injuries, and by the arduous work and enormous expense involved in getting back on their feet.
Some of the women are particularly anxious. Men tend to wear their metal prostheses bare and exposed. But some of the women want realistic-looking “skins’’ and adjustable heels, extras that are crucial to feeling like their old selves but that health insurers typically do not cover.