Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy has been partially paralysed and is successful captious condition, surrounded by an improvised web of support. Her communicative embodies New York’s post-pandemic fears and challenges.
For days aft Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy was shoved against a speeding subway bid connected her mode to work, she laic successful intensive attraction astatine NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She underwent 2 surgeries, her assemblage truthful violently battered that she was nether changeless ticker for fearfulness that her traumatized arteries would neglect her.
On Thursday, Ozsoy remained partially paralysed but was gathering strength, investigating her remaining mobility and cognizant of everything that had happened to her since aboriginal Sunday greeting erstwhile a antheral thrust her caput into the bid arsenic it pulled retired of the Lexington Avenue/63rd Street station.
“At this moment, her travel is simply a precise scary journey,” her husband, Ferdi Ozsoy, said successful an interview.
Since moving from Istanbul successful 2017, Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy, 35, has embodied New York’s “hustler” spirit, said a cousin, Deniz Gunduz. She had near a vocation arsenic a leafage decorator astatine 1 of Turkey’s astir influential newspapers to prosecute a much originative path. In New York, she embarked connected a vocation arsenic an creator and illustrator, simultaneously learning English and picking up a occupation arsenic a barista. She is focused, motivated and unyieldingly independent, her relatives said.
Now, abruptly vulnerable, Ozsoy is astatine the centre of concentric rings of care: nurses and doctors who show her successful the intensive attraction unit; her hubby and cousin, who are intermediaries with everyone who comes into interaction with her; friends who get with nutrient and embraces. Beyond those interior rings are New York City residents for whom she embodies a persistent fearfulness of specified violence, with her communicative crystallising the endemic occupation of information underground.
Authorities person said the onslaught connected Ozsoy was carried retired by Kamal Semrade, 39, who was arrested precocious Monday astatine a stateless structure adjacent La Guardia Airport successful Queens, charged with attempted execution and held without bail. His lawyer, Rebecca Heinsen, said successful a connection that her lawsuit should beryllium fixed the presumption of innocence and cautioned against drafting conclusions astir him.
The accidental of falling unfortunate to convulsive transgression connected the subway is statistically low, but without a discernible motive, the seemingly random onslaught revived fears astir an unsafe subterranean city.
Inside the hospital, however, determination is simply a azygous focus: Ozsoy.
On Sunday, she underwent a marathon of aesculapian attraction that lasted much than 12 hours. She was fixed an MRI and a CT scan, and past was rushed into country aft it was discovered her cervix had been broken, Gunduz said.
She suffered a “cervical spine fracture, breached fingers, a laceration connected her scalp and harm to 4 large humor vessels,” a prosecutor, Carolyn McGuigan, said astatine Semrade’s arraignment.
By Monday morning, Ozsoy was capable to afloat assistance 1 arm, faster than doctors had anticipated. By Thursday, her hubby said, she could assistance some arms, though she could not determination her hands, and her legs person remained paralysed. The artillery of machines that had sustained her had been reduced to an intravenous drip.
Family and friends person stayed by Ozsoy’s bedside time and night. Only 2 radical astatine a clip are allowed to beryllium with her successful the infirmary room, truthful others hold successful a household country overflowing with nutrient dropped disconnected by visitors. Her hubby oregon Gunduz person had to conscionable well-wishers extracurricular the infirmary to springiness them updates connected Ozsoy’s condition. Her colleagues besides started an online fundraiser for the family’s expenses.
On Wednesday, sitting successful the backmost of Matto Espresso connected Second Avenue successful Manhattan, wherever Ozsoy had been scheduled to enactment connected the time she was attacked, her hubby and her relative grappled with the accidental quality of the onslaught and disquieted astir their loved one’s future. “What is Emine going to bash now?” Gunduz asked.
Ozsoy had been gathering her assemblage and beingness successful New York, her relatives and friends said. An avid artist, she would instrumentality her iPad to parks and gully for hours. Her enactment has appeared successful a fig of magazines, and she has worked with clients specified arsenic Airbnb, Puma, Chicago Magazine and the set Maroon 5, Ferdi Ozsoy wrote successful a statement.
The “sweetest idiosyncratic you’ll ever meet,” Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy was quiescent and observant, her hubby said. Art was however she expressed herself. Her vibrant illustrations captured radical speechmaking successful parks and walking successful the city. She was advancing astatine the cafe also, having conscionable been told she was getting promoted to supervisor.
The Ozsoys met successful Turkey successful 2011 and joined successful 2014, Ferdi Ozsoy said. A autochthonal New Yorker, helium said helium had told her earlier they moved to America that New York would beryllium a spot to unrecorded her dreams. Although they decided to separate, helium said, they stay “partners successful life.”
He lives adjacent Tampa, Florida, but they would speech often, and they met for meal successful New York a week earlier her attack. He said helium could spot that she was thriving successful the caller beingness she was building.
“She felt that, and she was capable to unrecorded that,” helium said. “Until Sunday.”
That day, Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy stepped into a proscription strategy that has struggled since the pandemic emptied it of riders. The subway is the city’s economical lifeblood, and its information defines New York’s broader well-being.
During the agelong lockdown, ridership dipped, and radical grew acrophobic astir transgression successful the depopulated system. Mayor Eric Adams has unveiled programs that helium has said are intended to assistance marque the subways safer, with plans to flood them with constabulary officers and intelligence wellness workers and to region much than 1,000 stateless people.
But adjacent arsenic wide transgression successful the strategy has fallen successful caller months, convulsive aberrations person persisted: an unprovoked execution connected the Q train, a wide shooting connected the R successful Brooklyn, the fatal choking of a stateless antheral conscionable this period connected the F.
The onslaught connected Ozsoy occupied a peculiar niche successful New Yorkers’ fears: the abrupt shove arsenic an unstoppable bid bears down.
In a lawsuit that transfixed the metropolis successful 2022, Michelle Alyssa Go, who worked successful mergers and acquisitions, near her Upper West Side flat and was connected a subway level successful Times Square erstwhile a 61-year-old antheral pushed her from behind, shoving her to her decease successful beforehand of a southbound train. The antheral who the constabulary said pushed her, Martial Simon, was recovered unfit to basal proceedings and was committed indefinitely to a locked psychiatric facility.
On Sunday, Ozsoy was connected her mode to enactment erstwhile she boarded a bid successful Queens adjacent her location successful Jackson Heights. Semrade boarded the aforesaid bid astatine the station, constabulary said. Both got disconnected astatine Lexington Avenue/63rd Street astir 6am, officials said.
As a bid pulled out, Semrade approached Ozsoy from behind, grabbed her caput with some hands and shoved her “with each of his unit into the moving subway car,” said McGuigan, the prosecutor, astatine Semrade’s arraignment. “She deed the bid successful her look and head, rolled on it, past crashed backmost to the platform, wherever she was instantly paralyzed,” she said.
At 6:04am, Eli Naim, Ozsoy’s boss, who oversees the Matto Espresso cafe chain, got a telephone from her number. But erstwhile helium picked up, Ozsoy wasn’t the 1 connected the line.
A pistillate whom helium did not cognize told him that determination had been an mishap connected the subway and that Ozsoy was injured, helium said. He could perceive Ozsoy successful the inheritance telling idiosyncratic to “call Eli.”
In Florida, Ferdi Ozsoy got a telephone from a constabulary serviceman aft the attack, informing him that his woman was astatine the hospital, but helium wasn’t told astir the severity of her injuries. Shortly after, helium got different call, helium said, this clip from a doc telling him that Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy had made him her aesculapian proxy earlier surgery.
“That’s erstwhile I called Deniz,” Ferdi Ozsoy said. “I said, ‘Deniz, I’m not successful New York. Please spell adjacent to her.’”
Through everything, Gunduz has been updating Emine Yilmaz Ozsoy’s parents and 4 siblings successful Turkey astir her information arsenic they question exigency passports and visas to travel to New York.
For the family, the onslaught was a personal, intimate blow.
“We ne'er deliberation it is going to hap to us,” Ferdi Ozsoy said. All New Yorkers, helium added, should contemplate the unit that had occurred and what it meant for the city.
“Those metro stations are not lone determination to instrumentality a idiosyncratic from 1 spot to different place; they’re arteries of the city,” helium said, adding, “If we’re not harmless successful these arteries, wherever are we going to beryllium safe?”
This nonfiction primitively appeared successful The New York Times.
Written by: Hurubie Meko
Photographs by: Jeenah Moon
©2023 THE NEW YORK TIMES