Journalist Attacked in Midtown Faces Long Recovery, Family Says
MIDTOWN — Randy Gener's recovery is just beginning.
The 46-year-old gay journalist is recuperating in the intensive care unit of St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital and likely faces months of rehabilitation, after he was attacked early Friday morning in what the NYPD is investigating as a possible hate crime.
Police said Gener was punched in the face, fell to the ground and smashed his head onto the pavement. He suffered a skull fracture that required brain surgery — and now he faces six to 12 months of intensive rehabilitation, his family said.
"We have no idea of the full prognosis, but we're just focusing right now on getting him out of the ICU," Gener's sister, Jessica Driessler, said in an interview with DNAinfo New York. "I'm still in shock and really sad about what happened."
Gener's insurance only covers two months of rehabilitation — leaving him responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in treatment to try to get back to his normal life, Driessler said.
A YouCaring online fundraiser raised more than $35,000 by Monday to help Gener cover his bills, largely from his colleagues in the theater, media and Filipino communities, Driessler said. Gener is known for his writing about theater and culture, and has done work for National Public Radio, The Village Voice and The New York Times.
Popular Ditmas Park Filipino restaurant Purple Yam is planning a fundraiser for him on Feb. 23.
Driessler, who flew in from San Francisco after the attack, said Gener was slowly recovering and had regained consciousness.
"He's doing OK and stepping in the right direction," she said. "His vitals are good, he's talking and eating."
Police have yet to name a suspect in the attack, but are looking for a man in his 20s, approximately 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with short black hair. He fled in a gray four-door Nissan with Mississippi plates, police said.
Driessler said she hoped police catch the alleged attacker so that her brother can have a degree of closure.
"We're really hoping to get him well and get him justice," she said. "Part of the healing process is to understand what happened to him and why."
The attack occurred near the home Gener shares with his husband, Stephen Nisbet. The pair, who have been together 19 years, have lived in Midtown for decades, according to Gener's sister.
"He was just a block and a half from being safe in bed," Driessler said.