9/11 ‘miracle’ babies, now turning 21, have been lifesavers for families

These “miracle” babies are all grown up – turning 21 and reflecting on their celebratory birthday, September 11, 2001, when they saved their fathers life.

The babies were busy being born on that tragic morning to ensure their fathers would not be at their downtown offices at the heart of the disaster.

Instead of crossing the bridge that connects the World Trade Center to his CIBC Oppenheimer office at the World Financial Center, Steve Condos was at NYU Medical Center with his wife Marika, who went into labor three weeks early. Their son Reggi was born at 9:23 am – 36 minutes before the first tower collapsed.

It was “bittersweet” for Steve, who described the “juxtaposition of the cycle of life struggling through the happiness and sadness of that day.”

“He’s the reason I believe in miracles,” Marika said of Reggi.

“The timing was a miracle. Steve would have been at work,” said the West Village mother of three. “Most people start crying. They’re like, ‘Oh my god, he most likely saved your husband’s life.’”

Being born on September 11 is a “very important part of my identity,” said Reggi, who is now studying music at NYU.

Steve Condos

Steve Condos holds his baby Reggi.

Condos family

Reggi Condos turns 21 this year on the tragic day that saved his father’s life.

Reggi Condominiums

Reggi was born at 9:23 am, 36 minutes before the first tower collapsed.

Steve and Reggi Condos

Steve Condos had worked at the World Financial Center but was not at work that day due to the birth of his son.

When his parents first showed him the original Post story about his entry into the world, Reggi, who traveled home from hospital with a police escort at the age of three days, Iinternalized conflicting feelings.

“It always made me feel like how precious life is — that anything can happen at any time and you should always live life to the fullest while preparing for anything that might happen,” he said.

Being born on such a busy day is “something I take with me everywhere,” Reggi said, adding that as a child he spent time at a downtown fire station near his old school to honor the memorial to his to study the bravest lost that day.

Reggi will be spending his 21st birthday with loved ones but said: “It’s not just a normal birthday. Everyone celebrates their birthday the same way, but I have a different relationship with my birthday. I’ve found my own ways of celebrating it.”

He also recognized that his story could have been very different, noting that many babies were born after their fathers died in the terrorist attack. “We are so grateful that it worked out like this,” said Reggi. “It didn’t work out that way for many”

Gracie Silva, who was born six weeks premature on Staten Island on September 11, finds watching the annual memorial ceremony and reading the names on television a difficult dissonance of solemnity and celebration.

Silva's family

Daughter Gracie Silva told The Post that her father considers her “his lucky charm”.

Silva's family

Her father, Naveen Silva, would normally have been working on Liberty Street during the attack had it not been for his daughter’s birth.

Gracie Silva, family

Silva studies physiology at the University of Scranton.

“It’s weird,” said the senior, who studies physiology at the University of Scranton. “Of course I’m sad, but it’s also the day I celebrate. But for so many people, it’s their worst day.”

Her mother, Marylynne, ruptured her waters in the early hours of the morning that day. That meant her father, Naveen, was by his wife’s side at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, rather than working as a computer technician at American Express on Liberty Street.

His usual commute would have taken him through the WTC at around 8:46 am, the time the first plane crashed into the North Tower.

“I’m very close to my dad — he considers me his lucky charm,” Gracie said. “Whenever he has something important going on, he always asks me to be there.”

“We’re very religious and believe that everything happens for a reason,” said Marylynne, a Catholic. “Maybe it saved his life. He would have been there.”

With around 150 babies born in NYC’s major hospitals that day, some light shone through on one of the darkest days in the country’s history.

“So many people have lost loved ones, it’s nothing to celebrate, but she represents new life,” Marylynne added. “That’s the only good thing about this day.”

Aaren Evans also arrived on September 11, nine days earlier than expected.

Evan's family

Aaren Evans arrived nine days early.

Evan's family

Arnold Evans was an investment banker at JPMorgan Chase Downtown.

Evan's family

Nearly 21-year-old Aaren Evans is now a junior at Barnard College.

Her birth meant that instead of going to the office when the tragedy struck, Arnold Evans, then an investment banker at JPMorgan Chase Downtown, was meeting his hour-old daughter at NYU Medical Center in Midtown.

“Sometimes I look at her and I’m like, ‘What did you want to tell us?’ I think she saved her father’s life — you never know where he could have been,” her mother, Joyce Evans, told the Post ahead of her daughter’s first birthday in 2002.

“Every year on my birthday we have a conversation about it,” said Aaren, now a junior at Barnard College. “It was always an open matter – we talk about it.”

For Reggi, being a 9/11 baby means his connection to the city is unbreakable. “I feel like I want to be in New York forever. The city is part of me and my story.”

https://nypost.com/2022/09/10/9-11-miracle-babies-now-turning-21-were-lifesavers-for-families/ 9/11 ‘miracle’ babies, now turning 21, have been lifesavers for families


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