A nurse on the Covid-19 frontline reconnects with the New York City firefighter who rescued her from a burning building 37 years ago

But this wasn’t simply any newspaper article. It was an article documenting Taylor’s rescue from a burning New York City condominium by a firefighter in 1983. She was solely 4 years outdated at the time.

The image on the front-page article reveals a younger Taylor with the man who saved her, Eugene Pugliese.

“I always knew I came close to losing my life that day,” Taylor instructed CNN. “Without him, I wouldn’t be here. I had a second chance at life, thanks to him.”

Today, Taylor, 40, is an emergency room nurse who lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and two youngsters. Ever since the incident, she questioned what turned of the firefighter who saved her, arising empty when she looked for him on-line. Ready to spend two months serving to in the battle in opposition to Covid-19 at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn, Taylor noticed this as a chance to lastly discover him.

During one in every of her shifts, Taylor instructed a firefighter her story. He known as the present captain of FDNY Ladder 20 in Manhattan, who knew precisely who Taylor was on the lookout for.

Taylor gave Pugliese a name proper after her shift and was very joyful to listen to his voice on the different finish.

“I wondered about him on 9/11 and hoped I would get the chance to thank him, and I finally did,” mentioned Taylor.

Now 75 years outdated, Pugliese was “on cloud nine” when he bought the name from Taylor on Friday.

“The two of us just sat there crying on the phone,” the Spring Lake, New Jersey resident instructed CNN, including that he is had the similar article framed on his wall for 25 years now. “She turned out to be a remarkable woman with a magnificent life.”

A chilly winter’s day, 37 years ago

While Taylor solely remembers bits and items of what occurred on that December day in 1983, Pugliese, who retired 24 years ago, remembers it vividly.

Pugliese was in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan checking water pipes when he was approached by a man who mentioned there was a hearth down the block. Pugliese adopted the man to a building of loft flats the place he observed smoke popping out of a sixth ground unit.

Upon coming into the smokey condominium, Pugliese observed and rescued a girl who then mentioned her youngster was inside the condominium.

“She kept screaming, ‘My baby!’ so I went back in and found a young girl who was unconscious,” mentioned Pugliese, who then gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation till she turned aware.

“I didn’t see her ever again after that, but I always wondered about her,” mentioned Pugliese, who obtained the Walter Scott Medal for Valor for his rescue of Taylor.

A reunion and a lot in frequent

Pugliese and Taylor discovered that they had a lot in frequent after they reconnected.

Taylor enlisted in the United States Army on her 17th birthday, ultimately serving in the National Guard as a helicopter pilot earlier than she left to start out a household and examine to change into a nurse. Before Pugliese turned a firefighter, he served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps the place he fought in the Vietnam War.

“On top of that, we’re both die-hard Yankees fans!” mentioned Taylor

Taylor and Pugliese have spoken twice since reconnecting on Friday and hope to satisfy as soon as it is secure to take action, ideally at a Yankees recreation.

“I hope to meet her soon, maybe later this summer,” mentioned Pugliese. “I’d love to meet her two children and go to a Yankees game together.”

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