Former NYPD cop with World Trade Center Cough emerges from surgery

Former NYPD Police Officer Marc Manfro talks about his days on the force in New York at his home in Castaic on Friday. Dan Watson

A former NYPD cop who moved to Castaic with celebrity status for the rough-and-tumble crime-fighting legacy he left behind, emerged Monday from surgery meant to correct the ill effects of exposure to 9/11’s aftermath.

Marc Manfro’s surgery at Providence Tarzana Medical Center went according to plan, said his wife, Terry.

When he emerged groggy from being sedated, Marco told her apparently: “I felt like I was hit by a train.”

Manfro, whose son Steven remains one of the Valencia High’s best running backs, went under the knife Monday in a bid to fix a medical condition that stems from his time assigned to Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

He suffered an ailment many of his fellow former cops and other first responders have come to know all too well — a respiratory condition dubbed “World Trade Center Cough.” He moved to Southern California in a bid to breathe a little easier.

The respiratory problems, however, led to a strain on his heart. So much so that the resulting cardiac condition caused him to collapse at least 10 times in the last couple of years.

For Terry Manfro, it was a gruelling ordeal, also.

“Those five hours were the longest of my life,” she said. “When you are with someone for almost 37 years, and you realize it could all fall apart in an instant, it’s terrifying.

“So when I saw the doctor finally walk into the waiting room I started to cry,” she said. “I was so relieved when he reported to me that, “We got some good burns inside the heart, and in six weeks, we will be able to determine if it was a success.’”

The ordeal began at 5:30 a.m. Monday, when Marc Manfro arrived at the hospital.

He was then wheeled into the pre-operation room at 7:15 a.m. and by 12:40 p.m. the surgery was underway.

At 3:30 p.m., she was allowed to see her husband.

“I was so happy to see him, but I could tell he was in pain,” she said. 

“The lining of his heart hurts, along with lung discomfort and pain from the incisions,” she said.

Manfro spent Monday night at the hospital, allowing medical staff to monitor his heart.

World Trade Center Cough is a respiratory condition that has affected thousands of first responders exposed to air at Ground Zero in the 9-11 terrorist attacks which was found to contain harmful particulate matter asbestos.

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