#204 The Near-Death Experience That Forced My Reinvention (Geralyn Ritter)
May 5 2023
“My family was advised that they needed to come very quickly to say goodbye,” says Geralyn Ritter. “My brother packed a dark suit for my funeral.” For Ritter, a near-fatal experience on the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak derailment was the life-altering catalyst for a complete life and career reinvention. Her 2022 book, Bone by Bone: A Memoir of Trauma and Healing, details the story of her remarkable journey to recovery, moving through grief, trauma and healing. “The main reason I wrote it was to try to help other survivors,” she tells CoveyClub founder Lesley Jane Seymour in this candid conversation. “It has been enormously healing for me to be able to share my story.” Listen in to hear her insights on overcoming and the resources that supported her along the way.
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About Geralyn Ritter
Geralyn’s doctors use the word “miraculous” to describe her survival and recovery. Today she lives a full life inspired by gratitude and offers hope and healing to many others. She is known for her distinctive laugh that fills a room and determined resilience in the face of personal and professional challenges. A recognized expert in healthcare policy, Geralyn was determined to re-start her career after years of disability leave following the accident. She is currently executive vice-president at Organon & Co., a new company dedicated to women’s health. Prior to the launch of Organon in 2021, she was a longtime senior vice president of Merck & Co., Inc., one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world. At Merck, her passion was leading the Company’s engagement on social and community issues and supporting forward-thinking governance at the highest levels of the company. Geralyn and her husband Jonathan have been married for almost 25 years. Jonathan and their three sons traveled every step of the recovery journey with her, and their experiences as unexpected caretakers are an important part of her story.