Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jennieann Maffeo: The Giving Gene

New York Times Portraits in Grief
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2001

It is easy to dwell on Jennieann Maffeo's misfortune -- she did not even work at the World Trade Center -- but first, some words about the life she had.

She had the giving gene. She volunteered for all kinds of charities, helping children learn to read, raising money for juvenile diabetes research and regularly providing meals for a handicapped co-worker.

When her goddaughter was born, she was so eager to pitch in that she offered to baby- sit even though she had no experience with newborns. The result: a contented baby, diapered backward.

She was 40, single and a senior programmer at UBS PaineWebber in New Jersey. That morning, she was waiting for a bus in the shadow of the towers, one leg of her commute from her home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to her job, when the first plane hit, dousing her with flaming jet fuel. She spent 41 days in a burn unit before succumbing.

"We had a short miracle," said her sister, Andrea Maffeo. "We were able to be with her. We talked to her, although she couldn't talk to us. They said they had never seen more visitors in the hospital." Link

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