9/11/01…Where were you?


It seems like people always ask where you were or what you were doing when a tragedy occurs.  I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.  We lived in Rock Hill, SC at the time and I was at the house, sitting on the couch tying my shoes getting ready to leave to visit my daughter (Mackenzie) in the hospital…

She was born on August 27, 2001 and was admitted to the NICU on August 29, 2001.  She was breathing fast and her bilirubin levels were going up instead of coming down.  The nurse woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that they were taking her to the NICU to be monitored.  I didn’t really think much about it; I guess maybe the drugs were still making me feel out of it.  The next morning we were able to go see her and she had all of these tubes in her .  I just stood there crying because this wasn’t supposed to be happening.  She was supposed to be going home with us the next day.  They ran some tests and figured out that she had pneumonia.  She had an IV, oxygen, a feeding tube, and all the other monitors that they put on them (heart, oxygen, etc.).  They told us it would get worse before it gets better and that if it were 20-30 years ago she wouldn’t have survived (that’s always nice of the doctors to tell you, huh?).  Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that she got sick because while she was in the hospital they discovered that she had a hole in her heart.  I’m sure her pediatrician would’ve noticed it eventually, but you just never know.  Thankfully, the hole closed on it’s own when she was about 2 years old and she didn’t have to have surgery.

Mackenzie in NICU 9-2-01
Mackenzie in NICU 9-8-01

Anyway, as I was tying my shoes I saw on tv where the first plane had hit one of the Twin Towers.  I think I called Michael to see if he had heard.  I honestly didn’t think much about it because I was so excited to get to the hospital to see Mackenzie.  While I was at the hospital I found out that the second tower had been hit and the nurses and I watched the news on the little TV in the NICU.

It was a day of mixed emotions that day because we were so excited to find out that we were going to be able to take Mackenzie home the next day, but still shocked and sad over the terrorist attacks and the deaths of thousands of innocent people.  She would have to come home on oxygen and on an apnea monitor, but she would finally be home (after 2 1/2 weeks).

Mackenzie finally going home 9-12-01
Mackenzie and Michael the night before she came home 9-11-01

I’ll always remember that day, all of the innocent people who lost their lives, all of the emergency workers who lost their lives trying to save others, and all the fear and anger that was felt that day (and for months afterward).  We will never forget…

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One thought on “9/11/01…Where were you?

  1. Your dad (Deddy) had just had surgery on his upper spine, just behind his throat. The surgery was on 9/10/01. I remember finding out that Mackenzie was going home within the next couple of days and it was all I could do to get the words out to tell him without crying. They kept him overnight and he was released the morning of the 11th. We didn’t have the TV on in the room . . . . we were just waiting on the words “you can go now”. I remember wheeling him out of his room in a wheelchair and just as we were going past the room next to his, we heard the patient from inside the room (an older gentleman) going absolutely crazy, shouting and saying some really bad words. I felt for the nurses who were having to deal with him and figured he was having a really bad day. As I pulled the car around at the hospital to pick up Van . . . . the nurse helped him from the wheelchair to the car and she told us to go home and turn on the TV, that the Twin Towers had been struck. I then understood why the older gentleman in the room next to Van’s was going nuts . . . . . he had been watching the news on TV. When we got home, we did turn on the TV and watched in disbelief.

    So our ray of sunshine was Mackenzie coming home on the 12th . . . . oxygen tubes taped to her sweet cheeks . . . . you, Michael and myself educated on CPR . . . . I still remember being a little scared and trying really hard not to show it.

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