NY Daily News
Nov 12, 2010
WASHINGTON – The staggering death toll for Ground Zero responders has soared past 916 – and still no one knows what really killed them.
Now, nine years after the terror attacks, doctors and some New York lawmakers are urging the federal Department of Health and Human Services to draft autopsy protocols to pinpoint 9/11-related fatalities, the Daily News has learned.
Astonishingly, there are no written standards to help doctors diagnose post-9/11 deaths, leaving a void that’s wreaked enormous emotional pain and conflict on survivors.
“It was heart-wrenching,” said Joe Zadroga, who watched his NYPD officer son, James, slowly deteriorate from scarred lungs until he died in 2007.
Relatives and friends know in their hearts what really killed the hero in their family – even if health officials refuse to recognize it.
“I mean, we knew what he died from. We dealt with it for four years,” Zadroga added.