Ken George was a first responder at Ground Zero. A former New York Department of Transportation worker, he told euronews’ Valeria Zabriskie how he worked at least 700 hours on what was known as “The Pile”, the mountain of rubble left where the Twin Towers once stood. He describes the horrors of what he refers to as the “Gates of Hell”, where he had to pick broken human remains from more than a million tonnes of debris.
George also told of the ill-health effects caused by his time at Ground Zero. Diagnosed with bronchitis and Restricted Airway Disease, doctors have told George, 47, that he has the lungs of a 85-year-old smoker. What’s more, the medication he was given led to heart problems; he suffered a heart attack in 2005. While some of the medication is paid for by the authorities, the cost of his heart medication comes from his own pocket and George criticises the government for not doing more to help the responders of 9/11 and their families.