Trisha Meili’s story is about the capacity of the human body and spirit to heal. It is a story of hope and possibility. It didn’t begin that way.
On April 19, 1989, Trisha went for a run in New York’s Central Park shortly after 9 PM. Hours later, two men wandering the park found her near death from a brutal beating and rape. In a coma, with 80 percent blood loss, a traumatic brain injury 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 as people contemplated what the savagery of the attack said about our society.
Trisha, known to the world as The Central Park Jogger, revealed her amazing story of survival and recovery fourteen years later in her best-selling memoir “I AM THE CENTRAL PARK JOGGER: A Story of Hope and Possibility.”
Born in northern New Jersey, raised there and in Pittsburgh, Trisha was a Phi Beta Kappa economics major at Wellesley College and a double graduate degree recipient (MBA and MA) at Yale University. After graduation, she went on to work as an associate at the Wall Street Investment Bank Salomon Brothers, until her life was violently interrupted that terrible night in Central Park. Amazing her doctors and colleagues, Trisha returned to Salomon eight months after the attack, became a Vice President and continued her career there for another eight years. She then ran a nonprofit in New York City, The Bridge Fund of New York Inc., before writing her story.
I AM THE CENTRAL PARK JOGGER is not a story of an attack, but rather, one of healing. The horror of her attack brought an outpouring of support and love from her family, friends, healthcare workers, co-workers and strangers. Trisha credits this support as part of the miracle of her recovery as she relearned how to do simple things, such as rolling over, telling time, buttoning her blouse or identifying simple objects. The support allowed her to move from victim to survivor, reclaim her life and become whole.
Trisha gives her time to organizations vital to her healing: As an advocate trainer for the Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI) at Mount Sinai Hospital, as an Honorary Officer on the Board of Directors of Gaylord Hospital where she did much of her rehabilitation, and as Founding Chairman of the Board of Achilles International that helped her run the New York City Marathon in 1995.
Trisha was the recipient of the Leadership Award from the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Courage Award from the Courage Center, the Pacesetter Award from New York Hospital Queens, the Spirit of Achievement Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the Courage Award from Boston’s Magic 106.7 Radio Exceptional Women Program and an Olympic Torchbearer in New York City.
Trisha has appeared on numerous television shows including a Katie Couric Special, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, Larry King Live, The CBS Early Show, CNN and FOX News.
Today, Trisha speaks to groups, including businesses, universities, brain injury associations, sexual assault centers and hospitals, about her journey of recovery and healing. She also gives workshops on transforming adversity. With her work, book and lectures, she offers lessons on how to manage through unpredictable change, whether personal, professional economic or spiritual. Her story has encouraged people worldwide to overcome life’s obstacles – regardless of what they might be – and get back on the road to life.