OKC Bombing Survivor
Reflects on Experience,
Looks Forward to Full Life
Story Courtesy Little Rock Marathon Media
(Little Rock, AR March 4, 2012) Left alone in the rubble of the Oklahoma City bombing 17 years ago, Amy Petty made a vow. She promised herself that she would change her life.
Since that time she has lost 200 pounds and today she finished her second half marathon at the Little Rock Marathon as she trains to run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in April.
“This was just awesome,” Amy said just after crossing the finish line in a time that was about 30 seconds faster per mile than she was hoping for. “My coach, Mark Bravo, told that Little Rock was a great place and this race is a great event. I loved it.”
On April 19, 1995, Amy was sitting at her desk in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City when the bomb went off. She fell three floors after the blast and was buried for more than six hours.
“At one point the rescuers had to leave me alone, because they thought that there was another bomb,” Amy explains. “In that 45 minutes, my life flashed before my eyes and I had a lot of regrets. I promised myself right then that things would change.”
It took more than two years for her to work through everything that she had been through, including losing 18 of 22 co-workers in the blast.
Since then she has returned to college to earn both Bachelors and Masters degrees.
She also volunteered and worked at the finish line of the Memorial Marathon handing out medals.
“That was such an emotional thing for me,” explained Amy. “This race is a fundraiser for the memorial for the 168 people that died that day. I knew about 100 of them. That day I made another vow, that I would run that race.”
The course of the race runs right past the hospital that Amy spent a lot of time in after the bombing.
“I remember sitting in the hospital room and looking out the window and seeing all the cars with their headlights on,” Amy said in explaining that in the days following the bombing all the drivers in Oklahoma City drove with their lights on in honor of those who perished. “Now I will be running by that same hospital. I can’t believe that I am really going to do that.”
Amy has come out of that tragedy to truly serve as an inspiration.
“We are all buried under the rubble at times,” Amy says. “For me it was literally under the rubble. The key is how you choose to respond.”
Finishing the Little Rock Half Marathon in just under two and a half hours is one of the steps in her response.
On April 29, 2012, in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, Amy is going to literally and figuratively rise from under the rubble.