Central Texas nurse recalls helping with patients after 9/11 attacks

Austin

Kelly David, a nurse at the time, recalls helping patients being brought into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after the 9/11 attacks.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Kelly David was in training to be an ICU nurse at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when the Sept. 11 attacks happened 20 years ago.

The former military nurse, now living in Austin, says she’ll always remember that day.

“When the plane hit the Pentagon I was actually leaving the classroom,” remembered David, who spent four years active duty in the military and another four in reserves. She walked into a lobby stationed right outside her classrooms when she saw the news on TV. “I thought, ‘my goodness, what’s going on?'”

She was already among registered nurses who were pursuing more training to specialize in working in the ICU. They were taking part in a four-month-long course. “They said…’we need you to come to the ICU, and help because we’re going to be receiving patients from the Pentagon.'”

“Any time anybody has a traumatic event, no matter what it is, I think that you just go into that place in your mind where you are just taking care of the task at hand,” David described. “It grounds you and it reminds you what’s actually important in life.”

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