What we are remembered for is sometimes a matter of chance.

What we are remembered for is sometimes a matter of chance. For John Tull, who died this summer, it came down to a matter of being in the wrong place at the right time.

In 2002, Tull and his wife, Lucinda Marker, visited New York City and unwittingly brought an unwanted passenger with them: bubonic plague. Shortly after arriving for their brief stay, the couple started feeling sick. A trip to the emergency room revealed that they were, somehow, infected with the plague.

Their case was the first instance of the plague appearing in New York City in over 100 years. Coming so soon after the 9/11 attacks, Tull and Marker found themselves under intense scrutiny from law enforcement and homeland security personnel – even as they fought for their lives.

Tull died this year of a rare cancer unrelated to the plague, according to The Albuquerque Journal. Before his death, Tull shared his experiences in a StoryCorps interview conducted by his wife. In it, Tull cited three reasons why he survived and just one reason why he believed he and Marker were stricken in the first place.

Listen to his story at StoryCorps' website and leave a message of condolence at his online Guest Book.