For the first time since the brutal assault in 1989 -- a crime that stunned New Yorkers, the nation, and the world -- the Central Park Jogger reveals her identity and tells the story you haven't heard, the journey of a young woman who turned horrifying violence and certain death into extraordinary healing and triumphant life.
It is the end of a long workday
and she is out for a run.
Shortly after 9:00 P.M. on April 19, 1989, a young woman jogs alone near 102nd Street in New York City's Central Park. She is attacked, raped, savagely beaten, and left for dead. Many hours later, she is found lying in the mud, her body thrashing violently.
When the young woman -- soon to be known around the world simply as the Central Park Jogger -- arrives in the emergency room, her body temperature is 85 degrees, she is comatose, and she cannot breathe on her own. She has a fractured skull and has lost so much blood that the doctors can't understand why she is still alive.
I Am the Central Park Jogger recounts the mesmerizing, inspiring, often wrenching story of human strength and transcendent recovery that involved a family, a hospital, a city -- in fact, an entire nation -- of supporters.
Even today, more than a decade after the attack, the Central Park Jogger is still in the news. As she writes this story, the headlines scream jogger once more. Startling new information about the crime emerges. Because of the nature of her head injuries, she remembers nothing of the attack. Whether one man or several nearly took her life, the damage was done.
And for the Central Park Jogger, the crime was not the climax but the beginning of her journey. This indelible, moving, tough-minded self-portrait weaves the stories of ER workers, doctors, nurses, investigators, family, colleagues, friends, and strangers into a haunting narrative of courage, survival, and healing against seemingly impossible odds.
She tells us who she was -- a well-educated young woman working on Wall Street -- and who she is now. Postattack, she must relearn to read, write, add, subtract, tell time. Once a distance runner, she must learn to walk again. She was a woman who guarded an unhealthy secret that defied treatment until after the violence, when it magically healed; a young professional who worked twelve- to fourteen-hour days but who, postattack, had the courage to reclaim her life and focus on what matters most.
Once comfortable in a high-pressure corporate boardroom, she is a woman who has had to learn to talk again, and is now a powerful and inspiring speaker. She is not the woman she was -- physical and cognitive "deficits" linger -- yet she is stronger and more alive than she has ever been. The event meant to take her life gave her a deeper one, richer and more meaningful.
Meet Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger.
The author will make a donation to The Achilles Track Club, Gaylord Hospital, and The Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program from her proceeds of the book.
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