Benjamin Luft now treats the many conditions that the responders are still suffering from at Stonybrook University Medical Center, part of the State University of N.Y. More than 6,000 enrolled in his World Trade Center Health Program. One study found that nearly 1/3 of those who worked at ground zero have asthma. 42% suffer with sinusitis. 40% have gastro esophagus geo reflux disease known as GURD. Many have reactive airwave dysfunction syndrome that the patients just call RADS.
All different types of people with different occupational skills responded that day. For all of them it was not the 10th Anniversary of something that happened . It is the 10th year of something that never ends. Many have a disease that causes the scaring of the lungs. They are just waiting for their lungs to give out and die. All were covered in toxins for months after the collapse of the buildings. All are suffering from toxic diseases to go along with their vivid nightmares of having to rescue body parts and not people.
Paying for their medical bills have always been a challenge. Funding for the World Trade Center Health Program was never certain until this year when Congress guaranteed coverage. That guarantee lasts only 5 years. The illnesses and the trauma are likely to last a lifetime. They all have post traumatic stress. They all reached the towers before they collapsed. They all have a unique story to tell about what was happening in those terrifying minutes from smoke to collapse to 4 months later sifting debris.