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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 18:45 GMT
Twin towers survivor leaves hospital
Elaine Duch
Elaine Duch suffered massive burns
An office worker who suffered massive burns during the attack on the World Trade Centre has been discharged from hospital after four months of intensive treatment.

Office worker Elaine Duch, 49, was on the 88th floor of tower one when terrorists struck on 11 September.

I said God save me, and he did

Elaine Duch
Although she was helped to get out of the building by rescuers, she suffered severe burns to 77% of her body.

She was so badly hurt that a priest administered the last rites.

However, she was saved by expert care from doctors at Weill Cornell Hospital Burn Centre.

She only regained the ability to talk 12 days ago.

Lucky to be alive

Elaine Duch
Elaine Duch was given the last rites
She told a press conference on Tuesday she had been able to take an elevator down to the 44th floor and walked the rest of the way down with the help of several people.

She said: "I thank God that I am here today. When I got hurt on the 88th I said God save me, and he did.

"I want to just go back to the way I was. As far as plans, I don't know what I plan on doing, maybe take a nice long vacation, definitely Atlantic City."

Dr Palmer Bessy, from the burn centre, said: "This is a far happier beautiful Tuesday in New York than the first Tuesday when we met Ms Duch.

"She came to us from St Vincents where she had been evacuated and she arrived upstairs after a period of time in the emergency department in our burn unit at about 6pm that day.

"She was critically ill on the ventilator and many other forms of life support, she had burns over 77% of her body and she also had a severe injury of her lungs."

Ms Duch said it was not until a month ago that she realised the full extent of the attack on the World Trade Centre.

She is the 11th trade centre burn patient to be released from the medical centre.

She will continue her treatment at a rehabilitation centre in White Plains, New York.

The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"Somehow she survived the fireball on the 88th floor"
See also:

09 Jan 02 | Americas
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Ground Zero health fears
31 Oct 01 | Health
NY firefighters report illness
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