Hudson First Responders Aid Fellow Sister

December 8, 2017


by David S. Morin

The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York took the lives of many innocent citizens and first responders.  The effects of that day continue to take lives of the many first responders who were on scene that day and completed rescue operations for the many months to follow.

What is called the 9/11 illnesses are being attributed to the toxic dust and asbestos rescue workers faced after the collapse and when working at the site of the World Trade Center buildings.  The Mount Sinai World Trade Center Health Program has counted more than 5,400 people with 9/11 related cancers.  One hundred and eleven firefighters and 132 police officers have died from 9/11 related illness.  So far in 2017, 32 additional firefighters have passed away with 9/11 related cancer.

This illness has hit close to home.  Retired New York City Police Detective Spike Cutolo, who has become a good friend with Hudson’s first responders, is suffering from the 9/11 illness and in the final stage of the disease.  Spike first became known in Hudson at the dedication of the town’s 9/11 Memorial on Sept. 11, 2011.  She traveled to Hudson from her northern New Hampshire home to be there to honor her fellow police officers who lost their lives and to remember all those who died that day.  At first she did not make herself known as she stood far in the back out of sight of the crowd remembering in her own way.  As the ceremony ended one of the town’s firefighters noticed her in a New York City Police uniform and went and spoke with her.  Since that time the town’s firefighters and police officers have remained in contact with her and she has attended several of the 9/11 memorial services.

She has suffered the disease for many years and the illness is now is taking its toll.  Two weeks ago it was learned Spike had been hospitalized due to complications of her disease.  It was also learned that due to her condition she could not return to her home until some minor repairs had been taken care of.  Due to her condition any type of severe dust or animal dander can bring forth a severe bout of breathing complications, which had hospitalized her.

Spike, a great lover of animals, adopted and cared for many rescue dogs and other animals in her home and due to her condition these animals she loved made it very difficult for her to breathe.

During her stay in the hospital it was determined that she could no longer care for these animals and they were taken to a local shelter.  It was also discovered that the air in her home was not suitable for her and repairs would need to be done.

A neighbor who watches over Spike was contacted to see what needed to be done to bring her home.  Hudson police and firefighters, along with the assistance of a donation of plywood flooring from the Hudson Friends Lumber, formulated a plan and traveled to her home on Dec. 2.

The group removed some old flooring and then laid down a new subfloor to relieve contaminates within the wood.  While one crew worked on the floor a second group worked to clear the yard of leaves that had fallen and covered the lawn.

It is expected that Spike will come home in the very near future where she will remain in the comfort of her own home.