MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Years ago, a Mobile woman packed her bags and moved to New York City to work for a security company.
Years later, she’s back living on the Gulf Coast, thankful to be alive.
Mary McCall worked in World Trade Center One and was several floors below where the first plane crashed on September 11, 2001.
“I’m a miracle. I came down 88 flights of stairs,” said McCall, as she stood below an American flag Tuesday morning while she told Bishop State Community College students about the day that changed her life along with many others.
She worked for a security company at the time of the attacks. “It happened so fast you really didn’t have the time to get scared.”
McCall was sitting at her desk on the 88th floor when the first plane hit the north tower, where she worked. “My computer went up in the air, my body went up in the air, everything went up, the desks went up. It was really scary. All these steel beams came down on top of my head and god just held it there. Just the dust came on top of me.”
McCall was able to make her way down to the 67th floor, before she got stuck and had to turn around.
Eventually, she and hundreds of others found an exit to the first floor before the north tower collapsed. “The fire department was coming up as we were trying to come down. They were so tired they were laying on the staircases.”
She made it away from the towers safely but then collapsed and woke up in the hospital.
In the years following, she’s suffered countless health problems. “Even today I still have problems with my eyes. Since then, I have gone through 15 operations, lung cancer, cancer scares in the throat and stomach.”
Now she’s hoping her story serves as a message for those too young to remember that day seventeen years ago.
“When you look back at 9/11, what happened then can happen today. So you have to stay together and love each other because why 9/11 happened is because of hate.”