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Dr. Karin Trujillo and Carrie Braxdale.

The story of two career women who separately moved to Omaha from New York a decade ago starts with a humorous misunderstanding.

Carrie Braxdale, who worked in finance on Wall Street, arrived first. She bought an eighth-floor condominium at the former Paxton Hotel downtown.

She soon received a note from the condo’s developer that “a doctor from New York” was moving in next door.

Excited, Carrie sensed something special. Having focused on her career, she was 38 and single and thought maybe she would meet her male soul mate — and they could start by sharing stories of Manhattan.

Then she read the rest of the note about the doctor from New York: “Her name is Karin.”

She laughs retelling that story. The two did become soul mates, though not in a romantic sense.

“Carrie was my first friend here,” said Dr. Karin Trujillo, a thoracic surgeon at the Nebraska Medical Center. “I love her. I’m a bit of an introvert, perfectly happy staying home. She is warm and gregarious and gets me out and about.”

“I love everything about Karin,” said Carrie. “And I like it that in most regards, we are total opposites.”

They did have some things in common. Both had lived through 9/11 and its aftermath, and both stayed in New York for seven years afterward.

And both, though initially reluctant to move to Omaha, came to love the Big O as much as the Big Apple.

When being recruited to the med center by Dr. Rudy Lackner, Dr. Trujillo at first said no way.

“I said, ‘Rudy, I’m a 37-year-old single woman from New York City. I’m not moving to Omaha, Nebraska. That’s crazy.’ He said, ‘You should just come out and see it.’ ”

She did, was impressed at the opportunity for “high-level, very interesting and advanced surgeries,” and accepted.

She likes it that Nebraska Medicine “recruits people from all over the world, which is a benefit to patients and to doctors.”

Carrie grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and majored in psychology at private Baker University in Kansas. She got into the financial securities profession, she said, “because there is nothing I can do to help people more than to help them be financially independent.”

She worked in Kansas City, Atlanta and Los Angeles before accepting a New York job in 1999.

On Sept. 11, 2001, she was at 100 Wall Street, in view of the twin towers, several blocks away, when terrorists attacked. After the first tower fell, her building was evacuated, and she walked down 29 flights.

“As I came out the front door,” she said, “it was like the worst blizzard ever in my life.”

She walked more than six miles north to her apartment near 63rd Street and York Avenue, alongside the East River.

Karin was a second-year resident at a hospital on Long Island, starting an ICU rotation. She recalls the sadness of later going into Manhattan and seeing thousands of posters with photos of people missing from the towers.

She grew up in Manhattan, the daughter of a psychiatrist and a pediatrician, both from Spain. The future surgeon — whose first language was Spanish and who still visits relatives in Spain each year — attended private Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, and graduated from the New York University School of Medicine.

Once she looked around Omaha and saw what it had to offer besides great medical facilities, she said, “I knew that as long as it was bigger than Middlebury (population 8,500), I would be fine.”

Shortly after arriving, she says, she attended a cocktail party and had a conversation with a kind man named Bruce, who asked about her job. When she asked about his, he replied simply, “I work in banking.”

Only later, she said, did she find out that Bruce Lauritzen was chairman of First National Bank of Omaha, the nation’s largest privately owned bank, and served on the board of the medical center where she worked.

“To me, that is Omaha,” Dr. Trujillo said. “I love it here — the people, the town. And it has everything big cities have to offer. There’s an art scene, a music scene, the symphony, theaters, and the restaurants are fabulous.”

On Sunday nights, she and friend Carrie sometimes have met at the Chop house restaurant at the Paxton to talk about their jobs and their lives.

Karin, who often operates on cancer patients, sometimes at the VA hospital, recently completed an 11-hour surgery. Carrie, who has traveled a lot on business, has served on the board of Nebraska Special Olympics.

They have shared a lot since the night Karin arrived and saw a welcoming note on her door from Carrie. Though Karin later moved up one floor, they have remained friends, more than just neighbors.

But now Carrie is leaving for Delaware.

Formerly the manager of investor services for TD Ameritrade in Omaha, she has accepted a position with JP Morgan Chase.

The two friends will stay in touch, and Carrie says she will visit Omaha, as well as relatives in the Kansas City area.

In Omaha, the former New Yorkers each found a niche.

“It’s a right-size city for really good connections, and I’ve never seen a more philanthropic city,” Carrie said. “I’m excited about what’s next, but I know I have lifelong friends here. And I’m only a plane ride away.”