read the account of Cindy , She was helping the
victims of 911 never realizing that she was
breathing toxic fumes . Today she is crippled
due to CIDP
"I was involved at 9-11-01 attacks in NYC.
The first day - that morning before the
buildings fell, I volunteered as an EMT on NYFD
ambulance. I was certified in my home
state of SC. I got down to the World Trade
Center towers before they fell. The second
plane had just crashed when the ambulance
arrived on scene. We lost the ambulance
right away because of all the explosions and
building pieces flighing through the air.
I joined the other volunteers trying to get
people out. Breathing the fumes. dust and
everything else in the air began that morning.
People were coming out of the buildings mortally
wounded, on fire with hundreds of jumps from the
When the first building fell (when most of the
rescue workers were lost) we all ran in all
directions. I found myself hiding behind a
tomb stone in a graveyard at St. Paul's Church
which is across the street from the World Trade
Center. The heat in the buildings one of
the Fire Chiefs told us later was over 4,000
degrees. My hiding space across the street was
so hot I felt as though I was on fire and in
fact I did have burn holes in my uniform.
The air was so thick and hot I could not
breathe. As the buildings fell, it felt to
me that the sky was falling. I thought I
But when I survived alone the others we just
went back to work doing whatever we could around
the World Trade Center area. When the
second building fell two fire fighters and I
were able to get underneath a fire truck and
they shared their air with me. I was at Ground
Zero all that day and night.
I do not remember if I told you that I was in
NYC because I was a nun and living in the
Convent house in Manhattan. Because of my
experience as an EMT and my emergency room
employment, I was asked to work with the
Coronor's Fatality Team. I agreed. I
became a Chaplain for the Coronor in the search
and retrieval of the bodies (after the first day
there were no 'bodies' just pieces.
I stayed at Ground Zero retrieving and blessing
the bodies as we found them and was to make sure
the other rescue workers were handling things as
best as they could. So I was present and
breathing air at Ground Zero for six months
(9/11/01-2/02). I had gotton to the point
of having to stop. I just could not do
this work anymore. I have a number of ailments
causing health problems for me. Could this
have impacted CIDP.
I hope this gives you the information you ask
about in your response.