Sunday, October 25, 2015

9-11 Responder Saved Lives, Lost His to PTSD

At memorial, family and friends say PTSD led to death of 9/11 first responder Kevin Kelly 
Updated October 24, 2015
Resnik was with Kelly the day he rescued a police officer who had fallen during an evacuation alarm at the pile, he said. "When everyone was listening to the horn and running away, Kevin stayed behind and grabbed this officer to make sure he got out safely," Resnik said.
Members of the Bellmore-Merrick EMS and other agencies salute and stand at attention while the procession passes in memory of ex-Capt. and Life Member Kevin Kelly at Sacred Heart Church in Merrick, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost
Ten months after losing their father, husband, colleague or friend, more than 100 people close to Kevin Kelly, a 9/11 first responder, gathered to memorialize him Saturday afternoon in Nassau County, where several spoke of his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after spending 14 days on the Ground Zero pile.

The line-of-duty death of Kelly, a Bellmore-Merrick EMT who took his own life Dec. 11 after battling both PTSD and respiratory illnesses, is a reminder that people who helped others by responding to the terror attacks need all the mental and physical health assistance they can get, his family and friends said.

"He had a lot of suffering. Now he's at peace," Kelly's wife, Mary Rose Kelly, 52, of Lindenhurst said after the service. "PTSD is a silent killer. They don't have enough help for those dealing with that."
After the Zadroga Act, which helped 9/11 victims and first responders with their health needs, expired this month, Resnik said it felt like "Congress turned their back on us."
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