Sdoia, who was gravely injured in the second explosion and later lost her right leg, was assisted by Northeastern University student Shores Salter during the attack. He held the tourniquet that kept Sdoia from bleeding to death until Boston Police officer Shana Cottone commandeered an official van to drive her to Mass General Hospital. Holding her hand the whole way was firefighter Mike Materia — who became Sdoia’s fiancé in February.
The book, released March 28, details the incredible bond between Sdoia, Salter, Cottone and Materia.
“I just kept thinking about the story of the four of us that day and thinking about everyone who has helped me,” Sdoia tells PEOPLE. “I thought it was important to put it down on paper and what has come out of this has been extremely special.”
“People should know it was a bad day, but so much good has come out of it — like the bond the four of us share now, it’s really special.”
Sdoia, Salter, Cottone and Materia worked with writer Jennifer Jordan on the book for two years.
“It was very important to us to get as many facts as straight as possible,” she says. “We talked to everyone that was instrumental on that day and after during our recovery.”
But, Sdoia wants to make one thing clear: “It’s not another book about the bombing,” she says. “Pretty much everyone knows what happened that day.
“This is a story of life, friendship and love that’s come out of it all.”
The book doesn’t delve quite as deep into Sdoia and Materia’s relationship — Sdoia says there’s “a little bit about our love story, but not tons of detail!”
“We wanted to let people know that Mike and I formed this relationship and fell in love and are now engaged to be married,” she says. “It was important for Mike and for me that he proposed after the book was done — we didn’t want this to be about the engagement. ”
The couple are still looking at venues but hope to marry soon.
“We’re trying to find something in Massachusetts,” says Sdoia. “We’d definitely like to get married on Cape Cod.”