Former NYPD officer urges focus on 9/11-related illnesses

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FOREST, Va. (WFXR) — For former New York Police Officer Jerry Sheridan, September 11 is a chance to explain how 18 years later, that day is still affecting people’s health and lives.

“One thing I remember which, if you’ve never been to Manhattan, something’s [always] going on,” said Sheridan, remembering the day of the attacks. “People are always there. and it was like a negative picture. It was like black and white from all the dust that was everywhere, and it was silence.”

Sheridan was an officer in Queens on 9/11, but worked 12- to 18-hour shifts in Manhattan in the days and weeks after the attack.

He’s now a Liberty University police officer and says he and other NYPD officers are still dealing with the aftermath of the attacks.

“We lost 23 officers that day. We’ve lost over 200 since, due to strange illnesses,” he said.

“I already have something that possibly could be attributed. I have neuropathy in my feet. I have numbness in the bottom of my feet, so it affects my balance, and then sometimes I get shooting pains going into my feet and up my legs.”

He says it’s been a struggle to have his condition covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, but there’s progress.

“You have to prove each incident, so certain cancers have to be shown that yes, this was the only possibility, so they’re actually in the process now of trying to get neuropathy covered, and once it’s covered by the Zadroga bill, a lot of the expenses associated with that are covered by the city.”

He says remembrance events help keep people aware and talking about modern day issues related to the September 11 attacks. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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