She Survived 9/11 and Covid: ‘You Just Keep Going’

Wendy Lanski, 51, monitored the helicopters flying overhead as she stood by the Empty Sky Memorial inside Jersey City’s Liberty State Park on Saturday afternoon.

“To you it’s a helicopter, to me it’s suspicious,” she stated. “If there is an unexpected loud noise, it doesn’t go away. The PTSD, the health effects, all of that.”

Ms. Lanski was a mission supervisor for Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield on Sept. 11, 2001, and was getting ready for a 9 a.m. assembly in her workplace on the 29th ground of the World Trade Center’s North Tower, when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into her constructing. She felt the affect and fled down the steps.

When she obtained to the foyer, she heard folks shouting at her to run, cowl her head and not search for. She noticed folks leaping and ran by way of the rubble of the collapsed tower earlier than dropping her sneakers alongside the best way. She reached the Hudson River and escaped through the New York Waterway Ferry to New Jersey.

On Saturday, she met Armand Pohan, the ferry’s chairman and C.E.O., earlier than a remembrance ceremony that featured Gov. Philip Murphy and Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Ms. Lanski, who has “9/11/01” and “survivor” tattooed above her proper ankle, credited the ferry with saving her life 20 years in the past.

“I burst into tears,” she stated of her assembly with Mr. Pohan. “It was full circle.”

Wendy Lanski, a 9/11 survivor who was hospitalized final 12 months with Covid-19, spoke Saturday at a ceremony on the Empty Sky Memorial in Jersey City, N.J.Credit…Bryan Anselm for The New York Times

Ms. Lanski, who lives in West Orange, N.J., is a secretary on the board of administrators for the New Jersey 9/11 Memorial Foundation and works for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. In March 2020, she was identified with Covid-19, and she needed to breathe by way of an oxygen masks whereas hospitalized.

When she beat the virus, Mr. Murphy known as her, and earlier than he took the stage on Saturday, she reintroduced herself and shook his hand.

“It just keeps coming,” she stated. “If Osama bin Laden didn’t kill me, I’m not dying from a virus. You just keep going. Just because you had a tragedy, it doesn’t stop you from having others.”