9/11 Survivor Faces Health Issues

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14 years after the attacks on the World Trade Center,  thousands of responders and survivors continue to suffer chronic health problems after being exposed to toxins at ground zero.
CBS Kenneth Craig visited a clinic that specializes in treating people who lived and worked in Lower Manhattan in 2001.

Lainie Kitt watched the September 11th attacks from her office window. The towers fell right in front of her eyes.

She breathed in dust and debris as she rushed out of the area, then she was back to work in lower Manhattan just three weeks later. She's still working in the area 14 years later and says her health continues to suffer. "We didn't know how dangerous it was. Now we know."

Like many survivors, Lainie has been diagnosed with asthma, reflux disease, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. She finally found help at the World Trade Center Environmental Health Center, which is treating nearly 8,500 survivors. Many lived, worked or went to school in the area.

Dr. Joan Reibman, Medical Director at the HHC World Trade Center Environmental Health Center says, "This population was often being forgotten in terms of their World Trade exposure. They often felt like they weren't the heroes, like the first responders, and therefore not deserving of care.

Dr. Joan Reibman says unlike responders,  survivors did not have disaster training,  which made them more vulnerable to mental health issues. "This is an exposure they were not trained to handle."

Lainie hopes other survivors who haven't been treated will get help.

There are over 62,000 responders being monitored for health problems from exposure following 9-11.

Sponsored by: Mercy Health System