Jaime Amoroso has been a widow for two decades. Her husband, Christopher, worked for Port Authority Police in New York City. The couple had been married just shy of two years and shared a baby girl when Chris lost his life.
Jaime recalls the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, as a beautiful day. However, she cannot forget her conversation with Chris that morning as her husband got ready for work at a job that he loved.
“I remember he left and he said, ‘I’m working at the World Trade Center,'” Jaime told NBC New York, adding that she recalls telling him to be careful. “He goes, ‘what’s going to happen?'”
As soon she heard about the attack on the towers, Jaime sensed that something had happened to Chris.
“I knew when the second tower fell,” she told NBC New York. “I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be good. I just knew.”
Sadly, her intuition was right. Chris did not survive the collapse of the North Tower. But thanks to a photojournalist on the scene, Jaime was able to have a final glimpse of her husband’s heroism. Todd Maisel, a photographer for the New York Daily News, captured a photo of the officer helping a woman escape. Conor Baird, a relative of Chris, posted the image on Twitter.
“Last known photo of my dad’s cousin before going back into the North Tower,” Baird tweeted. “R.I.P Chris Amoroso #NYPD #TrueHero”
— Conor Baird (@ConorBaird) September 11, 2012
Over the years, Jaime wondered what happened to the woman.
“As time went on, I started to think maybe he didn’t save her, or get her far enough,” Jaime shared with NBC New York, “because we had never found her or had anybody ever spoken to her.”
“That woman Officer Amoroso is seen helping in this photo is my mother, Suman Dhamija. My mother has severe asthma so after running down the stairs of the 2nd tower and with all the debris and smoke in the air, she could not breathe,” her son wrote. “Officer Amoroso helped lift her up and walk away from the towers.”
“Officer Amoroso got her to safety, then went back to help others,” the post continued. “My mother says that she never got a chance to thank him for saving her life. Every 9/11, we light candles for her as we celebrate her 2nd birth, thanks to this brave soul.”
Dhamija is now a grandmother and lives in India. NBC New York captured the moment when the women finally connected via a video call.
“Did he seem scared?” Jaime asked Dhamija.
“He wasn’t scared,” Dhamija replied, “but I was scared.”
Jaime reassured her that she was glad her husband did his job that day so Dhamija could be with her family.
Dhamija wanted Jaime to know that, “she had such a wonderful husband and that I’m alive because of him.”