Central Park Jogger shares her story of hope, healing and possibility
Since 1980, Courage Center has presented its National Courage Award to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the health, welfare and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The personal achievements of award recipients set them apart; through the lives they live and the professional paths they pursue, award recipients change perceptions, change laws and change lives.
This year’s National Courage Award will be presented to Trisha Meili at the Medtronic Celebration of Courage gala on Saturday, August 27, 2005 at Medtronic World Headquarters in Fridley, MN.
On April 19, 1989, Meili went for a run in New York’s Central Park shortly after 9 p.m. Hours later, two men wandering the park found her near death from a brutal beating and rape. In a coma, with 75 percent blood loss, a fierce blow to the head and severe exposure, doctors at Metropolitan Hospital worried that this young woman might not survive. The story seized the headlines, not only in New York City, but also around the world.
Meili, known to the world as The Central Park Jogger, revealed her amazing story of survival and recovery 14 years later in her best-selling memoir, I am the Central Park Jogger: a Story of Hope and Possibility.
I am the Central Park Jogger is not a story of an attack, but rather, one of healing. The horror of Meili’s attack brought an outpouring of support and love from her family, friends, healthcare workers, co-workers and strangers. As she relearned how to do simple things, such as rolling over, telling time, buttoning her blouse or identifying simple objects, Meili credits this support as part of the miracle of her recovery.
Today, Meili gives her time to organizations vital to her healing, including The Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI) at Mount Sinai Hospital, Gaylord Hospital, where she did much of her rehabilitation, and the Achilles Track Club that helped her run the New York City Marathon in 1995.
Medtronic has been a long time supporter of the Courage Center and their mission, and is honored to be hosting the gala where Trisha Meili will be recognized with the National Courage Award.