March 28, 1998 in Nation/World

Nurse Maimed In Bombing Leaves Hospital Abortion Clinic Worker, Who Lost An Eye, Still Has Shrapnel In Leg

Jay Reeves Associated Press
 

A nurse maimed in the nation’s first fatal abortion clinic bombing left the hospital Friday, eight weeks after the blast, with shrapnel still embedded in her body.

A scarred, smiling Emily Lyons, who lost her left eye and suffered numerous injuries in the Jan. 29 explosion, held a vase of red and pink roses as husband Jeff Lyons rolled her out of University Hospital in a wheelchair.

“I feel great,” said Lyons, 41. “I just didn’t think this day would ever get here.”

Lyons, whose leg still bears one of the nails the bomb hurled into her body, climbed into a white, 10-passenger limousine for the short ride home.

Awaiting her inside the limo were a bottle of champagne on ice and a T-shirt emblazoned with the image of a wanted poster of the bombing suspect, Eric Rudolph.

“I really haven’t thought about him too much until I had my (glass) eye made the other day,” Lyons said. “All I could think of was, ‘He is the only reason I am here.”’

Lyons was arriving for work at the New Woman All Women Clinic on Jan. 29 when a bomb went off in the front yard. Off-duty policeman Robert Sanderson, moonlighting as a security guard, was killed.

A huge manhunt has failed to locate Rudolph, 31, whose last known home was in the isolated hills of western North Carolina.

Lyons’ left leg was shattered by the explosion and is still held together by a steel brace. Her face, arms and legs bear the marks of nails that ripped into her skin.

Despite the fact that she faces more operations and months of physical rehabilitation, Lyons said, “The hard part is over.”

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