Kisook Ahn dedicated her life to helping others. It was one of the last things she did before she lost her own life.
The 35-year-old Woodside resident had just finished the night shift as a registered nurse the morning of December 1 when the Metro-North train she was riding in derailed in the Bronx, killing her and three others.
“She always had a big, bright smile on her face, even after working 12 hours,” said Linda Mosiello, administrator at the Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center where Ahn was employed.
“She loved to make the kids smile no matter how sick they were,” Mosiello continued.
Ahn started working at the Ossining, N.Y. nursing facility in 2010, where she provided care for medically complex children, according to Mosiello.
She left the job briefly to finish classes at Lehman College where she was pursuing her masters in nursing as a nurse practitioner, said Mosiello, but had been working at Sunshine full-time since 2012.
Ahn came to the U.S. from Korea late in 2008 through a program for nurses, in conjunction with Perfect Choice Staffing.
According to Mosiello, Ahn has no relatives in the U.S.
Sheldon Meikle, Perfect Choice Staffing’s international director, said the Korean Consulate and the MTA are working together to help with funeral arrangements and to bring her family members to the U.S.
The staff is also helping the family come to the U.S. and is in the process of putting together a fund, said Mosiello. If anyone would like to contribute, they can contact Sunshine through its website, www.sunshinechildrenshome.org.
Ahn was remembered in a private service at Sunshine on Monday, December 2.
“I think it comforted the staff to come together and mourn [Ahn],” said Mosiello. “She was a very warm, loving woman. She was a great team player.”
In addition to the four killed, of the approximately 150 people aboard, 71 people were injured when the seven-car train, coming from Poughkeepsie and heading to Grand Central Terminal, jumped the tracks near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 7:20 a.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and MTA.
At a press briefing on December 2, the NTSB said the locomotive was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, according to preliminary information from the train’s event recorders.