NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – When John Feal lost part of his foot while working as a demolition supervisor at Ground Zero, he was understandably miserable.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

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“I thought I was feeling sorry for myself that I lost half a foot, then when you see all these people sick and dying. It was a no brainer,” Feal said.

That’s when Feal became one of the unsung heroes behind the passing of the 9/11 health bill.

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The 44-year-old became a secret weapon on behalf of sick 9/11 first responders, making 89 trips to Washington to push for the bill to pass.

“We stormed in offices and we didn’t take no for an answer. We demanded we be seen,” Feal said.

After meeting various politicians, Feal became disgusted that the bill became a partisan issue. Now, he’s less than impressed with those he met.

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“High school was hard on me. I’m not claim to be the smartest person in the world,” Feal said. “They proved that just about anybody can run for office and do a better job.”