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November 9th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

Work, family were center of slain Fort Hood civilian's life

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/09/cahill.forthood.victim.jpg caption="Michael Cahill survived a heart attack three weeks before the shootings at Fort Hood, Texas."]

Mallory Simon and Jim Spellman
CNN

Joleen Cahill had a gnawing feeling in her stomach.

She was at work on Thursday afternoon when she heard a gunman opened fire at the Soldier Readiness Program at Fort Hood, Texas, the same place her husband, Michael Cahill, worked as a physician's assistant.

Immediately, Joleen Cahill searched online to see if her husband was OK, but she found no answers.

She went to her Cameron home, where she and a friend huddled around the television.

"We were sitting at home agonizing," said Cahill's daughter Keely Vanacker. "We were calling every number, nobody could help, nobody could give us an answer."

Cahill tried calling her husband. She got no answer.

"I knew that he wouldn't be able to call us, and I knew just to wait," she said. "I kept hoping that no news was good news."

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