Support the news

CommonHealth: Stabbed By A Stranger, A College Student's Long Road Back12:48
Download

Play

This segment originally aired on July 20, 2012.

Annie Ropeik (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Annie Ropeik (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Violence is, sadly, a fact of life in America, but for most of us, it's just headlines about tragic events that happen to other people, usually far away. But the reach of random violence is precisely that — random, unknowable. Often it's far away, but sometimes it's frightfully near.

Annie Ropeik is a former intern who worked here at Radio Boston. When Annie came to work for us, she was about to graduate from Boston University. She's a bright, eager young woman with one physical characteristic that was hard to miss: she walked with a limp and used a cane.

Most of us didn't know why, and we didn't ask. But at the end of her internship, the staff took Annie out to lunch. That's when she told us what happened to her two years ago just outside of NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., where she had a summer internship. Here's how Annie described what happened:

One morning, as I was walking to work, I was stabbed four times in the back and neck by a mentally ill stranger.

It was Aug. 4, 2010. I was 20 years old, a rising junior at Boston University, and I was a block away from my internship at NPR. I was not robbed; the attack was unprovoked. I was just unlucky.

I had stopped on a street corner to wait for the light when I felt someone pulling my hair. A woman — my attacker — had come up behind me. We struggled, and I stumbled and fell. I found myself lying on the street, on my back, with blood streaming from a wound in my neck.

One of the stab wounds reached her spine, severing nerves and impairing her ability to walk. She spent five weeks in the hospital and was forced to spend a semester away from school.

Annie is still recovering from the attack, working regularly with a team of physical therapists, and she's chronicling her progress on WBUR's CommonHealth blog. She joins us to discuss how, two years later, she continues on the road to recovery.

More:

This segment aired on October 8, 2012.

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news