Lauren Manning was blasted by the jet fuel explosion in One World Trade Center as she waited for an elevator on September 11th, leading to burns on 82 percent of her body, years of physical therapy and a remarkable recovery that she details in a new book. NY1’s Zack Fink filed the following report.
Lauren Manning was a managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald, which was located on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center.
"The towers, to me, were home. They were my second home. I spent at least 10 hours a day there every day," says Manning.
On September 11th, Manning was late to work. As she stood by the elevator bank, she felt a rumble that would change her life.
"The entire building shook, and a loud piercing whistle, and probably a second later the jet fuel that had exploded from the first plane's impact blew out of the elevator shafts, enveloping me," says Manning.
Manning managed to push her way out of the building. She was eventually taken to the hospital, but the nightmare was only beginning.
"I was burned on 82 percent of my body and given at best an 18 percent chance to live,” says Manning.
Manning suffered multiple infections and a collapsed lung. She spent two months in an induced coma and awoke to more grief.
"Upon coming out of the coma and over a series of days asking about my friends and finding out that no one was left was a whole second assault,” says Manning.
Manning wore bandages and pressure garments for two years, and had to cover her face for 23 hours a day with a silicone mask to compress scarring. She endured five years of physical therapy that took place seven days a week.
"September 11th really brought home something that I didn't live with day-to-day, which is the notion that life isn't perfect. It never will be. I’ve learned to live a new normal and that beauty really is really a relative term," said Maning.
In her book "Unmeasured Strength," Manning details how she overcame tragedy with the help of her husband, parents, friends and two children who motivated her to push through and keep living.