Everyday Hero: Woman spends days helping those with Alzheimer's disease

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017, 8:01 AM EDT

Christine Collins' days are filled with care and love.

For more than three years, her attention has gone to 93-year-old Meriam Sullivan, who has Alzheimer's disease.

“Because you're so beautiful. That’s why,” Collins tells Sullivan.

Clothing, feeding, medical concerns and more fill her day. And making sure Sullivan's favorite, Lawrence Welk, is on.

This is a far cry from the world Collins once knew.

For 40 years she was a part of New York's financial scene, 30 of them investment banking.

Her office was in a building immediately next to the World Trade Center.

She was in a nearby coffee shop with others on Sept. 11, 2001.

They hurried down to the store’s basement and later ran from the area.

As they did, the first tower fell.

“We kept walking, and then all of a sudden, you heard this tremendous rumble behind you and you turned.  I turned and you saw this sea of earth and stone, sand, silt coming at you and the people behind us screamed 'run' and we did,” Collins said.

Time passed. Now her days are with Sullivan, who spent a half century with the love of her life, her husband, Bill.

Because of Collins’ dedication, she was named Southeast Caregiver of the Year .

And in late April, she became Home Instead Senior Care National Caregiver of the Year.

Everyday Hero host Bill Murphy asked her if she'd ever returned to where the WTC towers stood.

"No," she said.  "I've been back to New York, but I don't want to go there.  I did not want to go back down there."