Oprah Talks to the Central Park Jogger
Oprah: I've read that you suffered two skull fractures. What was your prognosis?
Central Park Jogger: Very bad. I've heard that one doctor said that because it was likely I'd be a vegetable, it might have been better if I had died. Once I started to remember things, I didn't feel that way—but I didn't feel normal either. My head hurt. I couldn't walk.
Oprah: Could you speak?
Central Park Jogger: Yes, but not coherently. The neurologists were asking me a million questions, trying to see what level I was at.
Oprah: Like who is the president of the United States?
Central Park Jogger: And who is the mayor? What day is it? That sort of thing. One neuropsychologist said to me, "I want you to draw the face of a clock." Though my manual dexterity wasn't great, I drew a circle with numbers around it and was proud of myself. Then she said, "Draw two o'clock." I thought, "Gosh, which hand is longer—the hour hand or the minute hand?" I was embarrassed, so I made the hands the same length. A couple of years later when I saw the reports from that neuropsychologist, there was a little note that read "Couldn't tell the hour hand from the minute hand."
Oprah: She saw through it!
Central Park Jogger: Yes. I thought, "Aw, shoot."
Oprah: Did you know why you were in the hospital?
Central Park Jogger: I don't think so. I've been told that the prosecutor, Elizabeth Lederer, had asked my family, friends, and doctors not to say anything to me about the attack so she could determine whether I had any recollection. She said, "We don't want her repeating things she has heard other people say."
Oprah: When did you know the rest of the country was praying for you?
Central Park Jogger: When I got a dozen roses from Frank Sinatra! I thought, "Wow—this is big!" I jokingly said to one of the doctors, "Frank is a good friend of mine."
Oprah: Excuse me, but was it just one dozen roses—from Frank Sinatra?
Central Park Jogger: One dozen. Then on my birthday, a colleague gave me two dozen roses and said, "Frank only gave you a dozen, so I'll give you two!"
Oprah: Let's talk about your recovery. When you arrived at the rehab hospital, you couldn't walk, right?
Central Park Jogger: Right. I was still in a wheelchair when I got to Gaylord Rehabilitation Hospital. I arrived in the beginning of June and didn't walk until mid-July.