The following are personal accounts given by participants in the STWS herbal program addressing the beneficial effects of Ayushakti herbs on their health. After exposure to the toxic environment at and around the World Trade Center debris (Ground Zero) their health was negatively impacted in various and dramatic ways. By taking the Ayurvedic herbal supplements designed for them by Dr. Naram and offered through STWS, their health has improved, often significantly, and symptoms have diminished or disappeared. These are their stories.
S. S.
Volunteer, Ground Zero, General Store
About a week after 9/11 I was volunteering in a supply tent called the Ground Zero General Store that was right on “The Pile,” as Ground Zero was called. We were the only supply tent that was right on the pile. My friend Angelo did a documentary about it called “The Heart of Steel.”
The place was full of dust. I guess I started to notice something was wrong in December when I was going up the subway stairs and I was huffing and puffing and that was unusual because I was always really—I wouldn’t say athletic—but I went to the gym a lot.
I was also starting to get really depressed. And by the time I stopped working at Ground Zero, I ached a lot and I thought that was because I had broken my toe down there. And my breathing was really off. And this just sort of continued to progress, but I didn’t really put two and two together.
My dad is a safety engineer and has a book at home called the Handbook of Occupational Safety. It’s a little book and you open it up and it has a list of chemicals and what diseases those chemicals cause. So for anyone to say that the government didn’t know what the long-term effects were of any of these chemicals is absolutely outrageous. And the other part is that there is no cure for any of this stuff.
I remember talking to my dad on the phone, because he knew better—and he says, “So is it safe down there?” And I remember looking around and seeing all these people. I remember seeing Japanese firefighters on the pile. People were there from all over the world. And I was like, “Dad, how could they let all these people down here if it wasn’t safe? It has to be safe. This is New York. And I meant this in a way, like, we’re not Russia, we’re not India. We’re the United States. We’re better than that.”
I went to the Mt. Sinai WTC Program in 2002 and they told me I had asthma. And then I went back in 2003 and they told me I had Reactive Airway Disease, sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) all the stuff that everybody had from 9/11.
After September 11, I also never had a menstrual period ever again. And at the World Trade Center, they just totally ignored that. And so that was what was so scary. When diseases aren’t being treated, they’re just progressing.
They also ignored the fact that my joints started swelling up. My hand joints, my elbows, my knees — any place there was a joint, it was like bulbous, just getting big. And that was weird, and different. And some of them hurt and some of them didn’t hurt, some of them were just weird looking. And my arms were achy. My whole body hurt. Like I had the flu.
I was tested for perimenopause in 2002 and they said I wasn’t even close to it. But then the next year I was post-menopausal. I feel like my body went into this instant and super fast aging process. Like on the outside it doesn’t look that way, but on the inside it was like my body was just crumbling.
And my bones are like falling apart. Next week I have to go be infused with Reclast because the deterioration of my bones has been so bad that despite being on Boniva, it’s not working well enough so I have to go get this infusion of Reclast at the hospital. This is something that elderly women get, and I know that a lot of other people, including men, have the same problem. Their bones are just deteriorating. I think that’s something that happens from a lot of these chemicals. You can’t get this stuff out of your body fast enough.
Because I was a lawyer I have been able to prove that cognitively my brain is incredibly damaged and it continues to be damaged because I was tested in 2004 and I was tested again in 2007 and I actually go for cognitive remediation. The other thing that was really difficult was that everything in my life was just chaotic and disorganized and I had to move like five times in six years, twice on crutches. It’s just like a nightmare. Financially it was also a nightmare — I always say that my life went from Sex And The City to Oliver Twist.
I’ve been pretty regular with taking the herbs twice a day as recommended. I immediately felt like something in my brain was clearing up. Like the fogginess lifted and that was something that everybody had told me might happen but I was very skeptical about everything—I was like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah,”— but I was desperate so I thought “Okay, I’ll try it.”
The respiratory stuff is so much better. I just went on November 5 I did a pulmonary function test and I also had a CAT scan with contrast — I have a yearly CAT scan that now I don’t have to do anymore. I had that on October 2. I have Reactive Airway Disease. I have all that stuff.
I just want to say that these tests showed I have had something really miraculous happen. And that is for the first time since I started getting treated at the World Trade Center Monitoring Program at Mt. Sinai, I’m off of all of my inhalers. I was on three different inhalers and I hated all the inhalers. Sometimes I wouldn’t even use them. I had a CAT scan with contrast and then pulmonary function tests [and] both of those are in such good shape that I now don’t have to use any of my inhalers.
I’m off of them and I have like a prescription for one rescue inhaler that if I want to I can carry it around but I don’t and I attribute that to the herbs. And there’s a side thing, smoking, that I was able to cut out totally with the herbs. I could smell the cigarettes coming out of my body. Like even though I’d quit smoking for a year, I always had a craving. And whatever storage of nicotine was in the pockets of my body, I think the herbs got rid of them because sometimes I would urinate and it would smell like an ashtray and I’d be like “Where did that come from?” because it’s been such a long time. And I think it just got rid of it. I think that the herbs detoxed that out of my system.
Everything is improved so much in the course of the last year and I attribute it to the (Ayushakti) herbs which I started in January 2009. And that’s why the herbs are great. I guess they’re taking poison out of every part of your body. And I’ve just been raving to everybody about how they’ve got to be doing these herbs, because this is like miraculous! They’ve heard about it but there’s not enough exposure. I always get so upset and take it as a personal affront if someone’s talking about some other product being great and not talking about these herbs. Because the herbs are so fabulous!
Everyone at Serving Those Who Serve has also been so sweet and kind and loving. And that’s the other thing I want to say also, is that after getting the crap kicked out of you in these other health care systems that have been set up, this was just so nice. You sort of lose your humanity because you’re dealing with these people who are just treating you horribly. You’re sick and it’s horrible.
It was just so nice to be treated with love and kindness and empathy. And it just all came along at the right time for me. It was just really lovely. And so I’m very supportive of it and I’m always trying to get more people to start taking the herbs. So I’m really grateful for all of you, and for Dr. Naram for supplying STWS with the herbs.
Joel Kanasky
FDNY Firefighter
I’m a firefighter with the city of New York assigned to a company in Manhattan. I was actually working in a training session on September 11, 2001. I was there early on that morning. I saw the first building collapse on West Street and then I actually survived the second collapse in the American Express building. I was in the lobby, or just outside of the north tower when it came down. Initially, I was at Ground Zero for about a day and a half before we even left the site, and then after that I spent about 20-25 hours a week there for the next 9 or 10 months.
Pretty early on, we were all kind of sick. Most of it showed up in the eyes and sinuses. What I noticed a couple of weeks after was persistent coughing and pretty bad shortness of breath. We were all being sent for testing and were evaluated by a fire department physical exam. We all showed some major loss of breath and I showed a loss in my pulmonary function capability, as well as chronic sinusitis, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and persistent cough. We were treated by the FDNY medical doctors and I was given an inhaler type steroid medication that seemed to help with the cough a little bit but it really never got rid of it completely.
I didn’t have any previous history of respiratory problems. In the fire department, we’re given yearly pulmonary tests. Prior to the 9/11 my health was spectacular. I had no chronic problems, no asthma, no bronchitis, very rarely even caught a cold or became sick.
Because of my wife’s persistence, I eventually went to a pulmonary specialist on my own and he actually diagnosed me with “small airway disease.” He said it could be a precursor to either COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or asthma later on in life. I noticed that anytime I went into the cold, or when the air was real humid, I’d have coughing fits and would be short of breath. And I developed that constant persistent cough that everybody had. My doctor said there was really no long-term treatment for my symptoms except trying to reduce exposure (to toxic situations) but being a fireman that’s kind of difficult.
So I continued participating in the medical monitoring program for the World Trade Center workers. Because of my high level of exposure, I received a full work-up again from the GI doctor, an ENT and a CAT scan of my lungs. In the CAT scan they found seven or eight nodules on my lungs and they believed some of them to be glass dust. The other remarkable thing was that they constantly kept telling me I have “pulmonary wall thickening”. I’m not really positive what it is and every time you ask a doctor to explain it they just tell you what they’re seeing. Initially I received a CAT scan every 6 months but now it’s once a year. I wasn’t given any medication for it at all really, just standard care.
Then, I heard about the herbal supplements. You know of course, everything in the fire department is by word of mouth because firemen generally don’t trust just anybody. So it was kind of unusual but a couple of the guys were talking about their health problems and somebody recommended these herbs. Then of course the guys in the firehouse started talking about them and that’s how I found out about the Ayushakti supplements. It was just by word of mouth.
I started getting my herbs through the firehouse and from one of the STWS volunteers. She’s the one who suggested that the guys try the herbs in the first place. But we’ve known her for seven or eight years now and so we trusted her. I’m glad I did because this has really made a big difference!
I think I started taking the STWS herbs around the end of 2008, like 7 years after being down there (Ground Zero). About 3 or 4 months into it I noticed that I didn’t seem to have that chronic shortness of breath, especially during heavy exertion. It seemed to relieve that a lot. And then the second thing I noticed –actually it amazed me –was when I went for my CAT scan in May of 2009. Much of or almost all of the “pulmonary wall thickening” appeared to be gone! Basically it’s cleared up and I’m eager to see the scans of my second year coming up in January. But the “pulmonary wall thickening” was definitely not visible in that last CAT scan. It makes me feel so much better. A lot of the guys are suffering from it. Every day we go forward it seems like another firefighter comes up with an even stranger health problem.
In general, like I said, a few months after taking the herbs it was just so noticeable that I didn’t seem to have that heavy breathing. I think my lung capacity is much better now. I still have a cough now and then and the cold weather still bothers me now and then but it’s nothing like it was. I think since the spring it’s been markedly much better. I had also developed sinusitis that was causing chronic sinus headaches about every other day or so. But since early spring, I really don’t have them. They’ve diminished drastically.
I’m really grateful for finding about this program and I plan on continuing taking these herbs. I’m getting my health back and that means a lot. Thank you all very much for making this happen!
Linda Weinberger,
Ground Zero Area Resident
When 9/11 happened I lived on Nassau Street in a condo that I owned down there. After the buildings fell and the air quality was poor I stuck it out for a few months. I finally realized that my breathing had been getting much worse and it didn’t seem like it was going to get better and you could smell the pollution no matter where you were in the city. You could be as high as 14th Street and still smell it. And even though the government was saying how there’s no known health effects and everything’s okay, I knew it wasn’t okay so I ended up leaving the area and moving to Riverdale. And then I actually had to start over because my business was in the city and my home was in the city. I was trying some alternative medicines — acupuncture and a few other things because I was having trouble breathing and I was always on two different pumps for the breathing.
I always had minor allergies like for hay fever, pollen and ragweed and used a pump if they were really bad but I was now using them on a daily basis. I took some meds for this, but I don’t remember the names because I haven’t taken them in like 3 or 4 years. They helped me some, I mean it’s really scary when you can’t catch your breath and breathe but they’re not a real solution.
I heard about Serving Those Who Serve because I started looking into another detox program and then I met this guy who told me he had met Nechemiah (STWS Director of Programs and Outreach Nechemiah Bar-Yehuda). This guy told me he was on these herbs and he’s detoxing and he looked fabulous and he felt good and everything so I said okay let me look into that. So recently – this is only about 6 months ago -- around February of 2010 I started taking the STWS herbs.
So since 2001, I’ve had this difficulty breathing and have had to rely on the pump to get breaths of air into my lungs then I started taking the herbs and I started feeling better. So I have been really feeling much better and I think since I’m on the herbs — I think I’ve been on them 4 or 5 months — I’ve maybe used the pump once.
I also have had a few chest x-rays in the past that had nothing to do with 9/11 but because I was a smoker all my life. So I was always kind of worried about cancer. Every few years I would get my lungs checked and I’d make the doctor take an x-ray to see if there was anything there because I really was having a lot of difficulty breathing and I didn’t know whether it was emphysema or the allergies or what. But I stopped smoking and my breathing did not improve. And I think I haven’t smoked in at least 5 years now.
Yet since I’m taking the herbs my breathing is 1,000% better. My overall health has definitely improved since taking the herbs and I want to thank STWS and Dr. Naram for providing them.
O. D.
FDNY Firefighter
I’m presently a retired New York City fire fighter. At the time of the attack, I was called alongside my company to respond after the second plane hit the World Trade Center. We ended up going to Ground Zero and waited to be assigned to a particular location. When the building started coming down we ran and we saved ourselves. Even though we ran we were all covered with soot and debris all over our bodies. We spent the whole day down at GZ looking for bodies and survivors and helped a couple of people get out In the days that followed we were responding every other day to GZ as part of a rescue team. I personally spent the next couple of months at GZ on an alternate basis. Eventually, I couldn’t continue with it any longer so I decided to return to regular fire fighting duties.
I developed problems with my eyes and I also felt a neck pain come upon me in the days that followed. I didn’t think much of it but I went to see a doctor and he told me it was a common cold. I didn’t notice a great change in my health but I was feeling doubt and apprehension about going and doing my job to the fullest.
I went to see my personal doctor and was told that I had bronchitis. I was prescribed some medication to get rid of the infections in my lungs. The problem was that it wasn’t getting rid of my bronchitis. It would just calm it down but whenever I was out of the medication the problem would come back. I never had a history of bronchitis. I was a runner. I used to run about 6 miles a day. My lungs were in great shape until I worked down at Ground Zero. In the beginning, I tried over-the-counter and prescription medicine to relieve me from all the problems that I had. For some reason I found that what it was doing was actually putting whatever problem I had to sleep until the medication wore off.
I really don’t recall how I found out about the Serving Those Who Serve but somebody mentioned it to me. I went to one of the meetings where I met Jose [Jose Mestre, Executive Director, STWS]. He asked me to call him up and tell him how my health was affected by working at GZ and recommend that I take some herbals supplements. I decided to give it a chance. And it was the best thing I did.
I didn’t see any change in my health the first couple of months after I started taking them. Eventually after about six months, I noticed a difference. Every time I went for my annual medical check-up my lung capacity improved and the doctors didn’t know what to attribute it to. I knew it wasn’t because of the medication that my personal doctor provided but because of the herbs. Presently, I’m still using them and I have noticed that not only are my lungs clearer but my overall health is has improved
I used to suffer from bronchitis roughly 4 - 5 times a year before I started taking the Ayushakti herbs. Now, it’s almost 6 years later and I haven’t had bronchitis. I rarely catch a cold. I attribute it to the herbs themselves. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would be in the condition I’m in now.
My immune system is much stronger. Definitely. Before taking the herbs, there were times when, if I just got wet I would catch a cold. Now, my system is stronger. My mental capacity is stronger for some reason. I know I had suffered from anger and depression. I started seeing a psychiatrist to help me with it. It helped but I wasn’t too crazy about taking anti-depressants. I have a feeling that these herbal pills have worked toward reducing my anger and my apprehension, my anxiety and everything else. I really believe that they do have some kind of effect on it. I’m grateful to Dr. Naram and to Serving Those Who Serve. I don’t think I would be in the shape I’m in now without taking these herbs.
I strongly recommend that anybody -- all the political parties that are apprehensive still – give it a chance. I’ll guarantee you that it will work wonders in your life, improve your lung capacity and also it will get rid of the infection and all the nasty coughing that a lot of the guys may still have.
Thank you again for everything and for helping me recover.
John Feal
GZ Demolition, Founder of the FealGood Foundation
I was a supervisor in a demolition company. I got there on the 12th of September and I was injured on the 17th of September. 8,000 lbs of steel crushed my left foot and I spent 11 weeks in the hospital with gangrene. I went to therapy for a year but my health deteriorated. I went from 185 lbs to about 126 lbs. Physically I was 100% opposite of what I used to be. On Sept.11, 2001 in my mind I was the world’s best athlete and my body was my temple. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I wrestled for 17 years. I was in the U.S. Army and at 34 years old when I was injured, I was in the best shape of my life.
I was diagnosed by 4 doctors as having PTSD. On top of my physical injury I had scarring of the lungs, I had acid reflux. I never had any of these symptoms before. Up until 2003 I didn’t take medication but since then I’ve had multiple surgeries on both feet all the way up until 2006. I even donated a kidney in 2007. After 2003 I stopped taking all pills – no painkillers, no pills for my acid reflux, no nothing. I believe I took enough chemicals for the 5 1/2 days at Ground Zero, and I swallowed enough toxins to last a lifetime and I didn’t want to invade my body any more with pharmaceutical drugs.
I’m not a believer in pills. For example, for the acid reflux I put apple cider and vinegar in a glass of water and I drink that for 2 months instead of taking Protonix and Nexium. Once in a while, I would take a Pepsin but I will not take any pills that are going to destroy my body over a long period of time. So when I heard of STWS I was skeptical at first but I said I would try it. I’m always in pain every step I take. I have heel spurs and plantar fascia in both feel. I always feel rundown because running this foundation [Fealgood Foundation] I probably sleep 2 – 4 hours a day. But when I took these pills I would say after 2 weeks I started to notice a difference. And my body adjusted. My bowel movements were different in the beginning but I got used to it and I knew I was cleansing my body of the toxins that were in there.
After taking the herbs I felt better. I felt lighter on my feet. I felt more alive. I felt I had more energy. And not like a 5 hour energy drink where you feel all jittery. I just felt better. Overall my whole body just felt better. The aches and pains were gone. I could see and think with so much more clarity. It was a number of things that made me believe this was the only reason because nothing’s made me feel better. I’ve tried everything and nothing’s made me feel better other than taking those herbs. I swear by them. I tell everybody I come in contact with that’s affected by 9/11 to at least try them. Give them a chance. Go through the whole thing. Don’t just do them for a week and stop. Let them take their course. I continue to do it. It’s probably been about a year.
The herbs also helped with the GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). Again, once in a blue moon I might take a Pepsin but I don’t take anything. Other than the herbs that I take every day from STWS, I don’t take anything. In terms of PTSD I’ve noticed better clarity and awareness. A lot of times I have to multi-task. I get 300 emails a day. I get a hundred phone calls a day. I’m writing checks all day. I’m doing something all day. I have to sometimes do 2 or 3 things at once. Before I took the herbal supplements I struggled and now I find myself being able to do that a lot easier.
As founder, president and secretary of my foundation, I’m going to the post office to mail merchandise or a check every day, or I’m going to an event or go to give a speech. A lot of time I don’t get a lot of rest and those herbal supplements make me feel better. Religiously every morning after breakfast I’d say within 15 – 20 minutes I take those pills.
Being in the military I was never a big sleeper. Being the youngest of 5 children sleep didn’t come much. After 9/11 my sleep pattern was literally ruined. First it started with nightmares and then I just couldn’t sleep. Now when I do sleep, whether it’s for 2 hours or 4 hours, I sleep with no interruption. I believe that’s because of the herbs. From the start of the morning until the end of the night I’m focused, I’m clear and I’ve exhausted all of the energy that I can possibly exhaust for 10 people. Before I took those herbs I was doing the work of many people but I was only getting the work of one person done.
Over the years I’ve had probably 500 people asking me to endorse something. I’ve had people tell me they can cure this and they can cure that. I give people the benefit of the doubt and I listen to what they have to say but this is the first product that I stand by. This is the only product that I stand by that I can honestly say has made a difference in my life and for that I’m grateful.
Donald Heyliger
Trading Assistant, NY Stock Exchange
My name is Donald Heyliger and I worked on Wall Street for over 30 years, first on the floor of the American Stock Exchange and for the last 12 years on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. On 9/11/2001, one of my brokers and I were chatting when we noticed a group of people had gathered and were watching the news on television. We assumed it was important financial news and went over to watch instead what we saw was that an airplane had crashed into the North Tower of the WTC. As we continued to watch the coverage, the second plane hit the South Tower and we realized that this was an attack. We immediately understood that as the financial center of the world we were a possible target. Our eyes were glued to the televisions around the floor, as the devastation continued to unfold.
Hours later, when I finally decided to leave the floor, the “Twin Towers” had already collapsed. What had started out as a sunshiny, gorgeous day had been replaced with a cloud of black smoke and ash that literally turned daytime in lower Manhattan into night. I was given one of those thin flimsy hospital masks to filter the air outside but once there I saw that it would be useless. Debris was everywhere, in the air, the sidewalks and the buildings! My coworkers and I walked from the NYSE on Wall St. to the South St. Seaport and we finally saw the sun again. At the seaport many of my coworkers boarded emergency ferries, which went to New Jersey and Staten Island. Our clothes and shoes were covered in ash and soot and of course everyone was traumatized. NYC was in lockdown. The subways weren’t running and the bridges and tunnels were all closed. The only way to get home was by walking, hitchhiking or perhaps an overcrowded bus, if you were lucky.
The President wanted the financial district to reopen as soon as possible, to make it clear that nothing and no one can stop this great country. So as early as two days later, a few of us were back on the floor of the exchange helping to test the computer systems and phone lines. The first day going back to work the subways were not running. I took a cab to Canal Street and met my firm’s head of the NYSE floor and 2 of our CEOs. No one was allowed past Canal St. who had not been put on a special list. All of us walked through the streets past a myriad group of soldiers, military vehicles, government agents and police. Even though the NYSE was not yet open for normal business we were at work.
After that day until the subways were running again, we had to take a shuttle bus below Canal St. The smoldering fires continued to burn. In a week or two the subways resumed running. Each day when I arrived at the Wall Street train station, as the doors of the subway car opened I would smell a chemical fire and there was an immediate sensation of something burning in the back of my throat and my breathing was shallow. The NYSE finally reopened for business on September 17th and we could smell the toxic smoke on the floor. The fire at the site continued to burn and smolder for almost a year.
I remember a few evenings in the early spring of 2002 I was at home in my apartment uptown in Harlem and I could smell the smoke from what came to be known as “Ground Zero”. I knew very well what the smell was. I had smelled it every day during the winter. My wife got extremely ill from the fumes. If we could smell the fumes and be affected where we live --10 miles from Ground Zero, and 8 months after the attack, I can’t imagine what the rest of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and New Jersey had been exposed to.
At work, I felt like I was on autopilot just barely getting my job done. I was doing the best I could, unaware how I had been affected mentally and emotionally; the depression, the fear and the lethargy was just below the surface. Before 9/11 I used to jog about 3 miles a few times per week. Afterwards, I barely had the stamina to walk up my stairs in my building.
My friends had told me about the organization they had started, Serving Those Who Serve, and the Ayurvedic protocol that they were making available. I began the program and I stayed on it for about 2 years. After being on the program for some time I began to jog again, very, very slowly. Over time I began to have more stamina. I felt that my breathing was better and the burning sensation in my throat began to subside. I also believe the depression that I had not previously acknowledged was lifting. I continued to see Dr. Naram and his wife, Dr. Smita Naram, for about 2 years.
I am extremely grateful for the (Ayushakti) herbs and I feel they are directly responsible for getting my health and well-being in order. Here we are years later and I am running New York Road Runners races from 3.1 miles to 1/2 marathons. My breathing is great and the burning sensation is long gone. I would recommend the Ayurvedic protocol provided by STWS to everyone. Not only for the fire, police department, cleanup crews and medical staff but also those “Heroes” that volunteered to support the rescue workers! The ones that no one is talking about! It has not only been helpful to me but it is cost-effective. I also suggest that one stay with the program for at least a year or more.
Here we are in 2009 where volunteerism is being touted as the way to help heal America and begin to repair the moral fabric of our society, and still so many of the 9/11 volunteers have been forgotten or left to find their own source of truly healing medical care and health insurance. It almost makes you wonder why people would want to volunteer, but that is what makes them heroes. They risked their lives without a thought for their own personal safety. We really need to honor them!
George Famulare
Facility Manager, Verizon
Thank you, Serving Those Who Serve!
On the morning of 9/11/01, I was the Property/Facility Manager at the Verizon building at 140 West Street located directly across from and beneath the World Trade Center complex. When the first plane hit the north tower I did not know what actually had happened. Then people within my building started to evacuate. I took charge of the evacuation with my building team and others and we successfully got several hundred people off West Street and back inside our Verizon building. Thank God we did, because as we know the north tower fell across West Street.
I was down at the WTC after the 1993 bombing and I never thought in my wildest imagination that these buildings would collapse as they did. When the second plane hit the south tower, we totally evacuated the Verizon building on West Street and advised people to walk north.
I then joined a conference call to our headquarters in midtown. While on the call I felt the building shake and almost immediately the walls and ceiling caved in on top of me. I was covered in debris and all of the dust from the collapse of the first tower. My guys knew I was in my office and they were able to get to me and get me out.
The Verizon building was severely damaged on 3 sides by the collapse of the 7 WTC building as well as from the steel from Towers 1 & 2.
We gathered off-site and immediately put together a team of people to start the process of going in to survey the damage and make plans to start the reconstruction of the building. We partnered with our telecommunications people to get the phone systems back on line. Our team was confident that if we could get into 140 West Street, we could get the NY Stock Exchange operational the following Monday. And we did.
A few months after the attack, I started to develop breathing problems. I had my lungs checked and found that my lung capacity was 69%. As the months turned into years (27 months at Ground Zero), my breathing became progressively worse and I was just generally not feeling well. When I retired at the end of 2003, my lung capacity was down to 62%.
I was prescribed a host of inhalers, antibiotics, prednisone and other medication. Nothing was really helping. But then I was told about The STWS program and started to take the herbs. I took them immediately and found that they helped more then anything that I had tried in the past. After just a few months, I could sleep better and more soundly, and I could breath easier with little or no cough at times.
In general, I am grateful that I found out about the STWS herbal program and have told numerous people how it has helped me. I can see a huge difference in my health and hope that others will benefit from my experience.
Thank you to everyone at Ayushakti and STWS for everything!
Sydney Reynolds
Chaplain at Ground Zero
My name is Sydney Reynolds. I was a chaplain at Ground Zero. At first, I was at the pier helping families and friends find their loved ones and counseling them depending on their response. In August, I signed a contract with the city of NY to be a pastoral counselor on contract for a year at Ground Zero to help out any people who were there who were having emotional or physical problems. I was there from October or November to the following spring. Primarily, I met with the employees of the city like the Dept. of Transportation etc., and evaluate them for whether they had potential PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
When I was working out on the street, I was right at the gates around the area near the pile (GZ site). There were 2 sections where we would set ourselves up and have brochures and information for visitors to the site to bring attention to what services were available for them. Then I worked inside the City Hall building when I did the 1-on-1s with people in the various departments like engineering, etc.
Mayor Giuliani opened up the site for the victims’ families and friends and arranged for 2 or 3 ferries every day to bring them there. It was on one of my trips on the ferry, several months after being down there, that I noticed that within 15 or 20 minutes of arriving at the site all of a sudden I was having trouble breathing and I started coughing and I couldn’t stop. So I had to ask to not go down there because every time I was down there I had trouble breathing and coughing. That’s when I got reassigned back to the pier where the police officers and volunteers were and I worked with them.
Shortly after that I went to Mt. Sinai because the coughing wasn’t stopping and I thought it might have been sinus draining into my throat. Well it turned out I had sinusitis but I also had a lung test and there were black spots on my lungs that could not be explained or what caused them, and the x-rays also showed black spots on my lungs. So they put me into this machine where I did some kind of breathalyzer test and I failed. That’s when I was put on medication for either asthma or -- they weren’t sure what it was. This was while I was still at Mt. Sinai but it was during that time that I discovered that STWS was offering these Ayurvedic herbs. So I went to the STWS meeting and that’s when I got an appointment with Dr. Naram and I started taking the herbs.
I had no history of sinusitis nor did I have a history of asthma or difficulty breathing or any spots on my lungs or anything like that. I had none of that. Every September/October I would get a lung check and the problems were not gone the first month after starting the herbs. But the year after that, I was told that the spots in my lungs were gone. I passed the breathalyzer test and I’ve been OK since then.
We get tested every 1-2 years and I think it was a two-year period that had gone by and the spots were still there. I don’t know when exactly I started to take the herbs but the next time I was tested my lungs were clear and I passed the breathing test. My lungs are in very good shape now. No problem with that now. Black spots are gone!
I’m just glad I found Serving Those Who Serve and that I’ve had a chance to see Dr. Naram. These herbs seem to really be working and I hope they continue working on my other symptoms.
Darren Taylor
FDNY Firefighter
I was dispatched to Ground Zero 2 days after the World Trade Center attacks working as general body recovery and search and for general reconnaissance and fire suppression. I was there off and on for about a week. I started noticing effects to my health about a month after working regular tours in the city. I noticed I was getting colds more frequently. I was a bit depressed and my immune system was impacted negatively. I was feeling more sick in general – not as healthy as I normally was.
I had no problems except high blood pressure but it wasn’t a chronic problem. These symptoms that I started recognizing really happened after being down at GZ. I saw a doctor but not very often. I just figured that it would be a temporary thing and it would pass but it really didn’t. As a fire fighter you encounter toxic situations all the time. But I was normally pretty vigilant about protecting my health as far as wearing a mask and making sure I could breath relatively clean air when I could. It’s a precaution we all have to observe as firefighters.
A STWS volunteer came to the firehouse in late 2001 – or early 2002 – and she was touting the herbs. Some men had begun taking them. I wasn’t really interested but when she came back in 2002 I started to try it and I’m glad I did.
Months after being at GZ my symptoms were getting a bit worse. I was getting concerned about them. I figured I would try something natural or try western medicine that would affect me in other ways. I decided to try the Ayurvedic supplements. After taking the herbs for a while, I found that my colds were pretty much taken care of. I had more stamina. I just felt better. I was less depressed. I was more able to go on with my life and put the medical concerns behind me. Everything was eliminated.
I’m still taking the supplements. My health is good – much better than it was before I started taking them. I had a cough. I was getting colds a lot. I was getting infections in my upper respiratory tract more often than I did before I was down there at the WTC. It wasn’t as bad as some people’s because I wasn’t down there long enough to get that chronic cough but I had a cough that I didn’t have before I went down to the WTC. It was a non-productive cough, a dry cough that would wake you up at night sometimes. I had trouble sleeping.
Gradually, the herbs seemed to alleviate the cough. Before I would just wake up at night with a coughing fit but as I started taking it that kind of slowly faded away. It got much better over time. Sleep? My sleep was positively affected by it. I got better sleep, more sleep. I was able to sleep more deeply than before. Now, I feel really well in general. Thanks to all of you for the service you offer and good luck with getting it to more people.
Virginia Brown
NYPD Police Officer
At GZ I was mainly doing either security work right down at the site where they were digging the debris and finding the remains. I also worked as a police officer in a peer counselor role so I was there on a daily basis for approximately 8 months. I had been working in a specialized unit at the time working with trauma. I worked at 1 Police Plaza right near the site. I was doing the security or peer counseling at the site or going to the morgue. In one night I would move around a lot.
It was a lot of stress from the long hours, having the uniform on with the vest. My back wasn’t that good. And I was inhaling all the different fumes. It just seems like there are so many fumes down there. I did try to abide by the rules with wearing the mask especially in the beginning. The first couple of months the air was full of dust and debris from the buildings and the asbestos. But you just couldn’t wear it all the time. It restricts your breathing after a while. If I did wear it I would then go into the church and take advantage of maybe getting chiropractic adjustment when they had the volunteers there. I would try and go inside that church St. Paul’s. We’d go in and out if we had an opportunity for a break or whatever.
I developed a cough on and off. I kind of forgot some of the details. I was tested at Mt. Sinai. Right now I can’t even think of what they found but I think it was just mainly some congestion but nothing that showed up that was significant, just a basic form of congestion. My sleep was affected. Actually I was not sleeping – not being able to sleep because of the long hours. And then when I was given the opportunity to sleep I was almost hyper-alert and then I couldn’t go to sleep. It was actually very uncomfortable a lot of times, especially in the beginning – on these cots like in church. I wasn’t even sleeping at home the first couple of months really that much. I wasn’t taking any medication for any of this at the time.
I met a psychiatrist that was training or assisting the emergency service cops in the area and we kept in touch from 9/11 – being down there a lot together. I had been going to Mt. Sinai every couple of years but they didn’t know about Serving Those Who Serve and the herbs at that time. This psychiatrist told me about it 2 years ago. I started taking the herbs 2 years ago and when I went recently in May in 2009 the doctor was kind of amazed that my bones actually improved a little bit instead of getting worse which he saw in others. Mine improved a little bit. Mine didn’t even remain the same. It didn’t get worse. It improved. Lung capacity went down after having been at GZ. When I went to Mt. Sinai after 9/11 a couple of years after, it wasn’t severely affected. But 2 years after taking the herbs when I went for a check-up, the doctor was amazed that not only had my lung capacity not gotten worse, it had gotten better. He didn’t know about STWS so I told him about it and he was kind of interested and I said there were nurses that knew about this service from Mt. Sinai’s office in Manhattan.
There are a lot of police officers with similar problems that have gotten worse and have died. Not only officers but any other workers that were down there. Anybody who was doing any kind of work at GZ, a couple got cancer, some got emphysema, different lung ailments. But my lung capacity improving -- I really believe it has a lot to do with the herbs. I’ve been taking them for 2 years. I still take them. Overall I just feel they have contributed in a positive way to my health. I’m sleeping much better. My whole body just regulates better it seems with the herbs.
I’m retired now but still taking the herbs and taking advantage of the programs that STWS offers. The combination is just terrific. Thanks so much for all of it.
© Serving Those Who Serve, Inc.