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A Memoir of Trauma & Healing

100% profit of every book purchase on this website will be donated to non-profit organizations that support trauma professionals and trauma survivors.


The American Trauma Society is dedicated to the elimination of needless death and disability from injury. For over 50 years, the ATS has served as an advocate for the trauma care system, trauma prevention programs, and survivors of trauma and their families throughout the United States. Our mission is to Save Lives, Improve Care, and Empower Survivors.


The Trauma Survivors Network is a community of patients and survivors looking to connect with one another and rebuild their lives after a serious injury. The underlying goal of our resources and programs is to ensure the survivors of trauma a stable recovery and to connect those who share similar stories.


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Bone by Bone

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.


About Geralyn

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. 


In the News

I Was Nearly Crushed To Death In The Derailment Of Amtrak 188. Here's How I Survived.

HuffPost Personal, October 4, 2022

​​I survived the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak train crash. I had 31 surgeries, a pain-medication dependency, and depression.

Business Insider, July 7, 2022

Geralyn Ritter: Balancing needs and risks in pain management

Tribune Review, June 2, 2022

'I Survived the 2015 Amtrak Crash—I'll Never Be the Same'


Newsweek, August 6, 2022

A Harrowing Train Crash Left Me With Countless Injuries — How I Recovered From The Trauma


MindBodyGreen, July 2, 2022

Seven Years Later, Geralyn Ritter Still Dealing With Emotional, Physical Scars From 2015 Amtrak Derailment

CBS Philly, May 12, 2022

‘I was a Jane Doe’: Amtrak train crash mom on surviving the commute from hell


New York Post, June 25, 2022


Nicole Schmidt 
Polytrauma survivor

“After barely surviving a high-speed, head-on collision, I had the opportunity to read Bone by Bone. All I can say is that Geralyn gets it. So much of what I was feeling as I endured my painful recovery was right there, along with funny anecdotes that made me chuckle. I finished the book and knew I wasn’t alone—and I believe other survivors will feel the same way.” 



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