Many of the passengers who suffered injuries in Sunday’s train derailment were released from area hospitals on Monday, but some were still in critical condition. Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Hilda Williams received a call she had trouble comprehending.
After just being released from the hospital herself, she was told her sister Denise Williams, a retired Army dentist, was in critical condition, incubated and undergoing back surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian in Washington Heights.
“She's so swollen and she, in the midst of all her pain, she reached her hand out for mine and all I could do was kiss her hand because I was just so happy that she was alive and not paralyzed,” Hilda said.
Williams is one of two patients in critical condition at NewYork-Presbyterian. Seven patients were admitted in total.
Saint Barnabas took in 12 patients, with one in critical condition.
"We had a number of fractures, elbow, a few collarbones, clavicle fractures. Also, two patients with significant spinal injuries,” said Dr. David Listman, director of the Emergency Department at St. Barnabas.
In all, 63 passengers were hurt, but most of those injuries were non-life threatening.
Still doctors are warning that many of the passengers, including some of the youngest onboard, could develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I'm sure there will be some degree of post-traumatic stress for a number of the people. The 14-year-old who was traveling with his father, who was also injured, takes Metro-North to go to school in the Bronx and I spoke to his mom yesterday, when he was ready to be discharged, and she was very concerned, and rightfully so, from his perspective, how is he going to get back on a Metro-North train?” said Dr. Listman.
Meanwhile, Hilda Williams wants an explanation from the MTA.
“I just really would like some answers in terms of what happened? What happened?” she said.
Denise Williams and other critically injured patients could be in the hospital for many days to come, but doctors say even those passengers who were released could need follow-up care.