Feature

An anthrax victim's lament

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Casey Chamberlain was sorting mail for her boss, Tom Brokaw, when she opened an envelope containing a strange, granulated substance.

Casey Chamberlain is an anthrax survivor, says Samantha Dunn in O magazine. Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, the NBC News assistant was sorting mail for her boss, Tom Brokaw, when she opened an envelope containing a strange, granulated substance. Ten days later, Chamberlain’s glands began swelling and she broke out in mysterious black spots. “I was very, very ill. I couldn’t get out of bed; I felt like something was running through my entire body.” Chamberlain, 30, was one of 22 people sickened or killed that fall by mailed anthrax. She slowly recovered, but because she had taken papers home from the office, authorities had to destroy her clothes, furniture, and personal effects. “What was traumatic was that the substance was in my personal space, what is supposed to be my sanctuary,” she says. Chamberlain has since moved to Boston, where she works for a construction firm, but remains haunted. She’s especially upset that the FBI’s chief suspect in the anthrax attacks, Bruce Ivins, killed himself last year before he could be charged. “I find it disheartening that I haven’t been able to sit in a courtroom, look a potential perpetrator in the eye, and say, ‘This is how you changed my life so drastically.’ My sense of security—that was completely robbed from me.” 

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