FDNY lieutenant Martin Fullam, 36, who was pictured in an iconic shot on 9/11 carrying deceased Father Mychael Judge, was laid to rest in Staten Island on Saturday after contracting polymyositis which resulted from his working for weeks and months at Ground Zero looking for survivors and later bodies.
It was in April of 2009, when Fullam underwent an operation for a lung transplant as a result of pulmonary fibrosis in his lungs. The inflammatory disease caused Fullam pain and muscle weakness which also made breathing extremely difficult.
After Fullam received the lung transplant at New York Presbyterian Hospital he expressed how grateful he was.
"I truly think I’m the luckiest person in the world,’ Fullam said as he left the hospital in a wheelchair.
Hailed as a hero, Lt Fullam rushed to the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, when he heard about it even though he wasn't on duty that day.
He was also one of thousands who filed claims seeking compensation over his chronic illness and fought for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that was signed into law in 2010, by President Obama.
Lt Fullam served 27 years with the New York fire department. He is survived by his wife, Patricia and his daughters, Caroline, Emma and Kelly.
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