Living With an Angel
Sometimes, Carl J. Bedigian did not seem real to the woman who had been his wife for less than a year. A firefighter with Engine 214 in Brooklyn, he once donated his bone marrow to a 4-year-old boy in Europe he had never met, Michele Bedigian said.
He had a "magical" smile, and "a beautiful way of making people comfortable around him," she said. "Sometimes I think he's an angel. Sometimes I think he wasn't really a person."
In 1998, Mr. Bedigian fell ill with a rare condition that paralyzed him, but he defied the odds and walked again within weeks out of the sheer power of his will, Mrs. Bedigian said. The experience made the couple live every day as if it were their last. They traveled, they planned a family. And Mr. Bedigian, 35, stayed committed to the Fire Department and had "a constant ambition to do more to help people," she said.
Mr. Bedigian was buried Nov. 5. "That was Carl's calling," his 31-year-old widow said of his life as a fireman. "As painful as it is, I'm incredibly proud of him."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 12, 2001.