Driven to Better Herself
Helen Cook was 12 when she and her brother, 10, moved to the Bronx from Honduras with their mother. "We used to hold hands when we walked in the street," the brother, Edson Garcia, remembered. "We came over for a reason: to go to school and try to become somebody."
She loved school and wanted to become a nurse. But after three years of college in Buffalo, she took a summer job at 1 World Trade Center and met Jermaine Cook, who worked for the stock exchange. Soon his name was in a heart-shaped tattoo on her neck. Their son, Justin, will be 2 on Oct. 23. In August, the couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary in Miami Beach. Mr. Cook is distraught. Mr. Garcia said, "He told me the World Trade brought them together, and it also destroyed them."
After the plane hit, Ms. Cook, 24, tried unsuccessfully to call her husband from the 82nd floor. Instead she reached her brother, crying. By telephone, he did his best to hold her hand.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 10, 2001.