September 11, 2001
I take a taxi to the World Trade Center, where I work at Cantor Fitzgerald; I’m annoyed to be running late. As I enter the ground-floor lobby of the north tower, I am engulfed by a wall of fire and burned over 82 percent of my body. I run from the building in flames, and the urge to simply close my eyes and surrender to the pain is overwhelming. But a vision of my 10-month-old son helps me find the strength to fight. In my mind, it is clear that I have made a choice: I’ve decided to live.
The collapse of the towers takes thousands of lives, among them hundreds of my friends and colleagues, but I am fortunate to reach Weill Cornell’s William Randolph Hearst Burn Center. I am sedated in a drug-induced coma state for more than six weeks before I next open my eyes, and I battle single-digit odds to survive for almost two months.
November 11, 2001
While I am still unable to walk or even sit up, I’m able to speak again for the first time. I surprise my husband, Greg, by whispering ‘hello’ as he walks into my hospital room.
December 12, 2001
I arrive at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital where I began an even more intensive schedule of the rigorous physical and occupational therapy that I began to receive at Weill Cornell. When I see my face in the mirror for the first time, my eyes are the same but my face has the look of a defeated boxer, and I turn to Greg and say, “I wish my tears could wash away my scars.”
- See more at: http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/national/2011/09/05/the-diary-of-a-911-survivor-lauren-manning/#sthash.jdhIF9t1.dpuf