Bone by Bone: A Memoir of Trauma and Healing
On May 12, 2015, Amtrak 188 derailed outside of Philadelphia going 106 miles per hour. Eight passengers were killed and many more severely injured. Geralyn Ritter was thrown from the train with such force that she sustained catastrophic injuries to her chest, her abdomen, and her pelvis. Found unconscious, unable to breathe, and suffering massive blood loss, she was not expected to survive. After enduring weeks in the ICU, dozens of surgeries over the following years, unremitting pain, PTSD, depression, and opioid dependence, Geralyn was faced with a daunting question: beyond mere survival after trauma, where is the path back to joy? Bone by Bone shares her powerful story of resilience. With humor, grace, and no-holds-barred honesty, she describes the journey back to life and offers support and encouragement for others. Bone by Bone addresses the long-lasting impact of sudden trauma and extends hope--from the perspective of someone who has been there. And back.
"After barely surviving a deadly train derailment in 2015 and enduring a long and agonizing recovery, Geralyn wrote her book entitled Bone by Bone: a memoir of trauma and healing, published in 2022. She is a frequent public speaker and author of multiple articles on trauma recovery, personal and professional resilience, corporate sustainability, women’s health, international trade policy, and other topics. She has pledged to donate the proceeds from her book to non-profit organizations that support trauma survivors and trauma medicine.
Geralyn serves of the Board of Directors of Business for Social Responsibility, a non-profit consulting firm, and Power to Decide, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sexual and reproductive well-being. She is also a member of the Board of Visitors of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, where she chairs the Membership Committee. Geralyn also chairs the Patient-Family Advisory Committee of the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Geralyn and her husband Jonathan have been married for 25 years. They have three sons, one of whom is a recent Duke graduate. 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 Ritter is currently executive vice-president at Organon & Co., a global company dedicated to women's health. At Organon, Geralyn leads the global public policy and government affairs, global communications, ESG and corporate responsibility functions. 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 public policy issues and supporting forward-thinking governance at the highest levels of the company. During her time at the company, she created and led a half billion-dollar initiative, Merck for Mothers, aimed at reducing maternal deaths during childbirth. Prior to joining Merck, Geralyn served as senior vice president for international affairs at PhRMA, as Trade Counsel at the law firm Covington & Burling, and in the U.S. government as associate general counsel for intellectual property in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Geralyn received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, her law degree from Stanford University, and her master’s degree in international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. "