In this special episode, host Elizabeth Hopkins acknowledges the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001. This episode is also a check in on how well Congress is living up to its promises to more than 24,000 first responders and heroes.
Introduced in 2006 and finally signed into law on January 2, 2011, the World Trade Center Health Program was designed to provide for the physical and mental healthcare for first responders. It should come as no surprise that the program was outsourced to a private, for profit company (United Healthcare). How has this worked 20 years later?
Elizabeth has a conversation with Michael Gavin, a paramedic from Boston who is among the thousands of heroes called into duty that day. Mike tells us his harrowing story of that day, and the weeks of 12-hour shifts as he and his fellow responders worked endlessly to help in any way they could.
As anyone could imagine, Mike suffered for his time at Ground Zero, experiencing substance abuse disorder, PTSD, and ultimately Hodgkins Lymphoma, which happens to be most diagnosed cancers among the 9/11 survivors.
Listening to Mike's journey from that day two decades ago to the present, it is almost unbelievable to hear about the re-traumatization Mike and others are experiencing.
For more on Mike's experience, you can find his book "Facing It: Unseen Injuries of a 9/11 First Responder," on Amazon https://amzn.to/39W9oix
Thank you for listening and look for Episode 8 on November 5.