HEMPHILL, TX (KTRE) - For the last 14 years, the images of thousands of people dying in the attack on New York's World Trade Center has been fresh in the mind of Doctor Jerome Carolino Jr.
The doctor now based in Hemphill was based at St. Mary's Hospital in Hoboken, New Jersey when two planes were flown into the towers on Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, 14 years ago, Dr. Carolino was an emergency room physician in the hospital just across the river from the New York attack. Many of the victims from the Twin Towers were transported to his hospital as the ones in Manhattan overflowed with the injured.
"I was just getting done with my overnight shift and was heading to check on a few patients at Christ hospital when i saw the skyline of New York and could see the first plane hit the tower," Carolino said. "I was about to turn to Palisades Avenue where Christ Hospital is and I saw the second plane and I said I need to go back. It wasn't for work. It was for my moral duty to help others."
Carolino said his hospital was receiving people off of the train system that were hurt or disoriented.
"It was a few hours later that we got the bad patients," Carolino said. "There were patients with lost limbs," Carolino said. "It's hard. I don't want to go into detail because it just makes me emotional. Myself and other doctors saw a lot of stuff. I suffered from PTSD for a while with what I saw."
Carolino also had to deal with his own family.
"My mom was taken to the airport that morning," Carolino said. "I took a break and went to the airport to find her. they were not letting anyone in or out unless you had a badge or were medical. I got in and was able to find her eight hours later. I was able to get escorted back and start on patients again."
Carolino said he knew many of the first responders that were rushing into the rubble.
"I knew these guys from before the events and they would just bring me guys and then run out and go back to ground zero," Carolino said. "There was one guy I knew that left and I never saw him come back. i don't know what happened to him."
For Carolino, that day was full of chaos but he did see a good side of humanity.
"That day we saw, I saw teamwork," Carolino said. "I saw the kindness of the American people."
Carolino said the day can teach people that we are still good in this country.
"It was by the grace of God that I was blessed to help people," Carolino said. "God used me to help others and this is still the best country to be in."
Carolino will be one of the main speakers at a special celebration in San Augustine starting at 5:30 p.m.