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Central Park Jogger Shares Patient Perspective With Nurses

On Sept. 23, more than 250 nurses at the Neuroscience Nursing Symposium at the Palace at Somerset Park, N.J., listened as Trisha Meili, the woman known as the Central Park Jogger, shared how she has learned to accept the changes caused by her attack. Meili was beaten, sexually assaulted and left for dead during an evening run in Central Park in 1989.

Trisha Meili signs a copy of her book for Emily Verastegui, a critical care nurse from St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. Meili said nurses have a role in not only healing patients’ bodies but their psyches as well. She remembered how a Metropolitan Hospital nurse would speak to her at her bedside while she lay in a coma. “Every night, when the doctors would leave my room, she would go to the edge of my bed and say, ‘Don’t pay them any mind. What do they know? Who’s the captain of this ship?’” Meili said.

Shirlene Santa Cruz Fisher, a neuroscience nurse at Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J., connected with Meili’s presentation because Fisher’s mother, Violeta Santa Cruz, was among the orthopedic nurses who cared for Meili at Metropolitan Hospital.

The 11th annual symposium was sponsored by Atlantic Neuroscience Institute at Overlook and Morristown (N.J.) Memorial Hospital. Meili was invited to speak by the symposium’s planning committee co-chairs, Paul Rodgers, RN, MSN, NP-C, CCRN, of Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists, and Joanne Turner, RN, APN, CCRN, CNRN, of the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute.

Shirlene Santa Cruz Fisher, a nurse at Overlook Hospital in Summit, N.J., is next in line to get her book signed by the Central Park Jogger, Trisha Meili. Fisher said she plans to give the book to her mother, who cared for Meili after her attack.

Before the keynote, Laura Reilly, RN, a neuro/surgical/trauma nurse in the ICU at Morristown, received the Atlantic Health Neuroscience Nurse of the Year Award.

“Technology has really moved the neurosciences forward, and we are able to treat more patients, save more brain and more lives,” Reilly said in a news release. “It is important for neuroscience healthcare providers to keep up with the fast pace of the industry and provide the best care possible for our patients.”

By | 2020-04-15T14:28:48-04:00 December 6th, 2010|Categories: New York/New Jersey Metro, Regional|0 Comments

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