AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — September 11, 2001 instantly brings up memories and thoughts of where you were that fateful day in New York City.
The first thing that comes to mind when Amarillo Plastic Surgeon Dr. Mary Ann Piskun thinks about 9/11?
“Ashes, ashes and those phone book pages. It was six inches deep on the ground,” said Dr. Piskun.
Dr. Piskun was in New York City that day as she was attending a board review meeting of around 150 general surgeons.
Then around 8:30 that morning.
“I heard all these sirens outside this big meeting room. Even for New York it’s noisy out there today. There must be a big fire. I didn’t hear the planes hit. I didn’t see them or anything but they came in and announced to the room that a plane had hit the world trade center,” said Dr. Piskun.
Then the second plane hit. That’s when Dr. Piskun says her and other medical professionals stepped in to help.
“Somebody ran to the fire station and they got two buses and took all who wanted to volunteer downtown to ground zero, to ground zero,” said Dr. Piskun.
Dr. Piskun says they were taken to a dermatology office where they started to make a triage center.
“But it was just two small hallways and kind of hard for a bunch of people to be there. Instead of buses, we got in individual cars with the fireman. We went down to the Chelsea piers. We went into this vast vast room with black walls, black ceilings,” said Dr. Piskun.
They started scraping together anything and everything they could think of to accommodate patients.
“I got a pocket knife from one of the EMTs that was there in case I had to do a tracheotomy. We tore sheets for bandages for hours and then we started kind of wandering around. The few patients that came out of the buildings went to St. Vincent’s Hospital which was between ground zero and where we were and there weren’t any patients really,” said Dr. Piskun.
When asked if it felt like this happened 20 years ago?
“No, it could be yesterday,” said Dr. Piskun.
Dr. Piskun says they resumed their meeting the day after the attacks after deciding that no other patients were coming.
Dr. Piskun said New York City was empty with nobody there in the streets, describing it as a “post-apocalyptic movie.”