A Trinidad-born survivor of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York wants an exemption to return home to T&T.

Ursula Thompson, 75, was born in Guapo and left Trinidad in 1971 at the age of 24 to work in the United States.

On September 11, 2001, she was working on the 64th floor of the South Tower when the first plane struck it just 19 floors above her.

“I was there. I had to walk down 64 flights of stairs and I also walked to Brooklyn,” she told Guardian Media in an interview yesterday.

Ten years later, she returned to Trinidad to live out the rest of her days in Pleasantville but was forced to return to the United States last July to receive treatment for cancer and has been there since. She expects her treatment to be completed on Tuesday following which she would be discharged from the nursing home she’s currently staying at. She would like to return to her Pleasantville home after being away from it for so long.

“I’d rather go back home because I’ve always wanted to go back home. I live at Pleasantville in Trinidad. I moved everything and my life is back in Pleasantville. That’s why I have nowhere to stay here,” she said.

Her nephew Carlos has applied for an exemption on her behalf and is yet to receive any response from the authorities.

Following the closure of the borders on March 23 during the first phase of COVID-19 infections locally, an exemption became necessary for all nationals who were caught outside the country to come home.

The Minister of National Security, Stuart Young has the sole authority to grant these exemptions and has stated that each application would be assessed and granted on a case by case basis.