NITRO, W. Va. (WOWK) — Sara Grigsby’s story starts like many others, with a beautiful September morning 18 years ago.
The young mother was visiting New York City for the first time with a friend. They were supposed to return home on September 11th, but the day before had been dreary and rainy. They wanted to see the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers so they decided to stay an extra night.
“I thought, what is one more day gonna hurt,” said Sara. “The news said the next day was supposed to be beautiful and it was. It was the perfect day.”
It was until it wasn’t. Instantly her world changed.
“Something caught my eye to the right and I could see an airplane coming in out of the right side of my vision and I knew I really wasn’t supposed to be there,” recalled Grigsby.
“I remember I really wanted to call my mom. I wanted her to go get my daughter out of school because I didn’t want my daughter to be at school, alone, when I died.”Sara Grigsby, 9/11 Survivor
Grigsby recalled many painful memories. She says time on that day is very foggy, she recalls being covered in dust, smoke, and smog. She recalled everything turning black, she remembered thinking she must of have died. But then she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“It was an NYPD officer, he put me in the back of a car and that was that.”
The details of how she got out and where she ended up are foggy, but she survived. However, life since that day hasn’t always been easy. She has multiple tumors located on almost every part of her body.
According to Grigsby, getting help isn’t always easy as many doctors in this area don’t often treat other 9/11 patients.
She stays strong, thanks to her faith and her family. She has also found strength is helping other survivors like her, lobbying for change and healthcare for other survivors and volunteers, connecting with many through social media.
While she has never been back to New York City, Sara says she’s finally ready.
“I think I am ready. When I left that day, I didn’t leave whole, I’ve never been the same since. I’m thinking I am finally ready to go back and complete this journey.”
She hoped sharing her story will help others, especially other survivors who may not know about the resources available to them.
“If this helps just one person, then I have done my job.”