1993 World Trade Center bombing injuries
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I was finishing my upgrade classes with Dean Witter, and was to be on the train to go home. The entire class, 98 people, was in "Windows of the World" restaurant, top floor.
I started working for Dean Witter September 1992. I previously had my Series 6 from Mutual of Omaha since 1988. I got my series 7 and 63, and was in process of taking series 13 at the time of the bombing. at this point , I do not remember if I got the 13 or not.
As part of our training program, Dean Witter held their own one month long training classes in their own headquarters, in the World Trade Center. They set us up in the Marriott Hotel for the entire month. we were allowed to go home for the weekend, but needed to in classes Monday morning.
The last day was Feb 26, we went to class to finalize and receive our certificate, pictured below.
Then, we were to go upstairs to the top floor to have a Lunch Celebration at the Windows on the World Restaurant. then to go home.
The building shook and swayed side to side when the bomb blew, toilets swished the water out onto the floor, we saw the sky sway back and forth, and people screaming, nobody had any idea of what happened because electricity was out, the Security walkie talkies did not work for a while.
then we were told that all electric was off, and that we had to go down the staircase, which was filled with smoke because it acted as the ventilation stack, through us coughing trying to walk through the smoke, we had no idea of there was a hole below us or if we would make it to the base.
During this some would fall, causing a domino effect, there was a lot of falling and being trampled on was a problem. During this process,
additional explosions went off, scaring the life out of us, many panicked,
thinking it was the end.
I got down to the 3rd floor, then another explosion took place. I do not remember what took place except that I woke up in St Vincent's Hospital a few days later. At one point, I was transferred to St Catherine's Hospital.
Through this, my manager at Dean Witter called my wife and scolded her, demanding that I show up for work the coming Monday or else I would face consequences. When she told him that I was injured in the blast, they told her, "That is a personal Problem, I am not interested in his personal problem, I only care that he shows up for work on Monday."
He actually demanded that she go to the hospital, get me out and make sure I was at work Monday at 8 AM, or else I would be reprimanded.
I was listed as AWL, Absent Without Leave. Meanwhile, I was there because they put me there for training purposes. All I wanted was the ability to work a best as I can while I heal. They treated me like a criminal.
through all the injuries including many fractures and bomb shrapnel, I worked from home. Of the 98 people in the class, I was 23rd, put me in the top 25% of the class.
I was again reprimanded that they did not want me working at home, they demanded that I be in the office from 8AM - 10PM M - Th, til 6 PM on Fridays. They demanded that if I was not able to do that, I would be required to either go on Workers' Comp/disability or be fired. If I were to be fired , they required that I reimburse them the entire $28,000 allotted for my training, even though it just started when i went to the training during the earlier part of February.
My pay of $1,500 weekly was based on my production. They reduced it to $1,500 monthly, 1/4 of what I was making. they did that so that Workers' Comp based my payments on the reduced salary instead of what I was truly making.
I lived in a lot of pain for many years because I could not get the help I needed, we had to refinance the house to pay for Medical bills because they were not paying most of the bills. We had to refinance the house to pay those bills, Mortgage increased from $160,000 to $750,000 to take care of the bills incurred from these injuries.
Below shows the scan report taken 2 years after the incident, indicating the many fractures still in process of healing and that I was still loaded with a lot of bomb shrapnel from the bombing. even though it showed the extensive damage, I was still treated like a criminal instead of a victim.
I am not a professional victim. I did my own self created exercises and methods to rebuild my body's abilities.
It took about 4 1/2 years before I walk without too much help. my efforts and help from my chiropractor got me back on my feet again. I still deal with a lot of pain from it, but I keep myself busy to keep my mind off of the pain and accomplish what I need to get done.
To this day, I never received the treatments I needed, I still have a lot of bomb shrapnel in me, and fractures that still have not healed. Basically, those who were injured in this bombing, we were basically thrown under the bus. I live with the unhealed injuries and over 100 pieces of bomb shrapnel. I did what I needed to do to get back on my feet and overcome the potential disaster. through careful spending and planning, we were never late on a single bill.
through this, I created the foundation and helped as many people as possible from my bed because I had trouble getting around. then as I grew, we expanded and I eventually learned to walk during the following years.
I just tell people that I went there for lunch, and we had a blast.
also, my kids called me "Napoleon Blownapart"
We can either feel sorry for ourselves or create humor to get through it.