On September 11, 2001, Jon Leiken was in his law office in Times Square when he received a phone call from his wife, Erika, who was eight-and-a-half-months pregnant. At the time, Erika was working as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society just a few blocks from the World Trade Center.
Minutes before calling Jon, she had exited the subway at Chambers Street to find flames and smoke pouring out of a massive hole near the top of the North Tower. After letting Jon know that she was safe in her office, she insisted that he leave work to return to their Upper West Side apartment. He agreed to do so, and shortly thereafter caught a taxi home while Erika began her evacuation out of lower Manhattan.
On his ride home, Jon heard about the collapse of the towers but did not take it for fact until he turned on the television. He watched in horror as a cloud of dust and debris engulfed the buildings surrounding the World Trade Center. Immediately he feared for the fate of his wife and unborn child.
Thankfully Erika was safe. After making her way uptown with her coworkers in a pair of sneakers lent to her by a fellow attorney, Erika was reunited with Jon four hours later. Their time spent at home that afternoon, however, would be brief; after realizing she could no longer feel her baby moving, Erika and Jon rushed to hail a cab to a hospital. Soon, they were being driven by police escort to Mount Sinai Hospital, where about an hour later, Erika gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The Leikens named her Caleigh.