STRUCK: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph Chronicles the Uplifting True Story of Love and Resiliency
One of life’s biggest clichés became reality when film and television writer Douglas Segal got a phone call that none of us ever wants to get. Segal’s wife, Susan, and their daughter, Alyce, had been randomly hit head-on by a city bus, and Segal had to deal with what frightens us most: a sudden disaster that changes everything.
STRUCK: A Husband’s Memoir of Trauma and Triumph is an intimate and honest chronicle of how Doug, Susan, and their family put their lives back together after the unimaginable happened. After being pulled from the wreckage, miraculously alive (also miraculously, Alyce was relatively unscathed), Susan faced the almost insurmountable challenge of recovering from a hangman’s injury (the same that paralyzed Christopher Reeve), many broken bones, life-threatening internal injuries, and brain damage.
After the accident, Doug began sending email updates to friends and family. The love and support they received help him get through each day. The list of recipients began to grow as others heard about the accident and were moved to send messages of prayers of support. Alternatingly humorous, heartbreaking, and hopeful, STRUCK is built around those email updates and is an inspiring example of how people show up for one another in times of crisis.
“Revisiting this dark chapter in our lives was personally harrowing, but it was also cathartic,” Doug Segal says. “There was a temptation not to reveal all, but I felt that if this story was going to touch and inspire people struggling to survive life’s challenges or coping with loss, I couldn’t hold back on the intimate details; I had to put it all out there.”
“What happened was so nightmarish, it’s the kind of thing you think only happens to other people—until it happens to you,” says Susan Segal. “It’s not easy to feel so revealed, exposed even, by the book, but I hope people will see it as not only a story of my survival against all odds, but also, as Doug calls it, ‘a love story of sorts.’ ”
At its heart, this is a story of a husband’s relentless devotion to his wife, the resilience of family, and the changing yet enduring nature of love. As with the most unforgettable memoirs, STRUCK is at turns both tear-jerking and surprisingly laughter-inducing, vacillating between the tragic effects of the accident and some of their comic consequences.
“We came back from this experience somehow stronger as a couple and as a family,” Susan says. “I hope everyone who picks up the book comes away with a greater appreciation for their own loved ones, and for life itself.”
As Susan and Doug now say, everybody’s got their bus—we all will face serious challenges at one time or another. STRUCK shows how it is possible to create a community of love and support, and how that community makes all the difference.
“An extraordinary love story. Doug Segal’s fluid, honest, insightful, funny, and very public look at his and Susan’s marriage couldn’t have been made up even by the best Hollywood writer, of which Doug is one. It’s a real-life story about what it takes for a woman to survive getting hit by a bus. ” — Rabbi John L. Rosove, author of Why Judaism Matters
About the Author
Douglas Segal served as co-producer of the feature films Three Kings and City of Angels. He also worked on the feature films Fallen, 12 Monkeys,and Scooby Doo, and produced the feature film Bulletproof Monk. On the television side, Segal has written and produced shows for Fox, Fox 21, the CW, and Disney and has been a writer, producer, director, and/or showrunner of series for Animal Planet, History, A&E, and The Travel Channel. Projects he has been involved in have been nominated for Golden Globe, Grammy, and People’s Choice awards, and many have won Teachers’ Choice and Parents’ Choice awards. A graduate of New York University, Segal also authored the children’s book I Can Go to School. He lives in Los Angeles with Susan and their children, Michael and Alyce.