By Tracye Hutchins
ATLANTA (WGCL) — They say time heals all wounds, but even 20 years later the pain of September 11 still lingers for some survivors.
For Suwanee resident, Kayla Bergeron, Special Equestrians of Georgia in Alpharetta is a place of peace.
Her therapy is working with horses. It’s the calm after the chaos of 9/11. “it’s were everything stops” Bergeron says. “Sometimes it seems like a long time ago, sometimes it seems like yesterday.”
Bergeron barely escaped the 68th floor of the north tower of the world trade center 20 years ago. “About 9:30 a security guard comes on the floor and says your life is in danger we’re evacuating the building” she says.
Bergeron barely made it out of the building. “Then i turned here comes this big black plume that’s falling all over, I sped up and ran as fast as I could all the way to the Holland Tunnel and when that stuff came near us, I dove under a car.”
For months after 9/11, as an employee of The Port Authority Bergeron helped coordinate the release of information about victims and the terrorist attacks. But it took it’s toll over the years. Her mother died, she struggled with addiction and DUI’s.
Bergeron said, “January 2017, DUI number two, but that was a blessing because Forsythe County accountability court that’s how I got the PTSD diagnosed, not the government, not anything set up to help survivors, it changed my life”
Kayla Bergeron was just one of an estimated 33,000 people who made it out of the World Trade Center towers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 18,000 of them suffer with mental health concerns including PTSD, Post Tramatic Stress Dissorder.
Stacey Edwards, Executive Director of Special Equestrians of Georgia describes on of Bergeron’s visits to the center, “There were tears in her eyes, and she goes, I just don’t think I’ve felt this kind of peace since 9/11 happened and the horses were offering her that type of support that i think we all need.”
Bergeron says, “I think i found my purpose, and so I’m one of the lucky ones as we say.”
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