Did Dr. Phil's Advice Help a Pregnant 9/11 Widow?
Season 5 Episode 517
Aired on 09/19/2015
Tammy Perconti was seven months pregnant when her husband, John, was killed on September 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center attacks. Three weeks later, Dr. Phil and Oprah sat down with Tammy to discuss the grief she felt after losing her high school sweetheart and the father of her unborn child.
During that emotional episode of the Oprah Show, Tammy recounted the last conversation she had with John. "He called and said ‘Our building was just hit by a plane. Turn on the news.' And I said, 'God, John, don't panic and run down the stairs and take your time getting out of there,'" Tammy recalls. "And he said 'I have to go. I love you.' And we said goodbye."
After suffering a loss of this magnitude, Dr. Phil said people have to create a new normal. "Right now, at this stage of your life, your goal needs to be to get through today," he told Tammy. "I promise those days will turn into weeks and those weeks will turn into months and before you know it your body and your spirit will be resilient again. But don't think about the rest of your life right now—think about this afternoon."
A few months later, Tammy gave birth to a daughter, Julia. Now, 14 years after the attacks, Tammy shares the hardest part about being a single parent.