The "F" Word
Terrorist suicide bombers detonated four bombs that day on three subway cars and on a double-decker bus. When that was over, 56 people were killed—including 26 on Gill's train car—and more than 700 were injured.
As people around her screamed and the car filled with black smoke, Gill's legs were badly hurt and bleeding heavily. She says she felt two competing impulses, almost like voices speaking to her. "It was like I was being presented with two approaches—the aisle of death and the aisle of life. The aisle of death looked fantastic. … The voice of life was quite agitated. It was quite angry at me saying, 'No, you are not to die now.' It was like a little lightbulb moment for me that my death actually isn't about me. Death is about the people you leave behind to mourn. And that's who kept me going."
With a determination to live, Gill tore her scarf to make tourniquet for her legs. After rescuers arrived, they pulled her from the wreckage and rushed her to the hospital. On the way, Gill's heart stopped three times and she lost 75 percent of the blood in her body. Doctors had to amputate both of her legs below the knee, and today she walks with the help of prosthetics.