De Blasio’s former press secretary says she’s lucky to be alive
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former press secretary says she’s lucky to be alive after suffering a severe brain injury in April from falling off a treadmill.
Karen Hinton was put in a medically induced coma for 10 days and had part of her skull surgically removed to relieve brain pressure after the horrific April 8 incident at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco.
“I was very lucky because the way you fall has a lot to do with how your brain is injured,” she told The Post.
Hinton, 59, was in Westchester Medical Center from April 8 to June 1. She didn’t start opening her eyes and speaking regularly until late May, and it took her four weeks after she got home before she could walk up stairs without assistance.
Despite recovering and returning to work at Fenton Communications in September, the longtime p.r. pro says she still can’t remember anything about her accident — and sometimes struggles to remember the right word or a friend’s name.
“You can be sitting beside me and I could know your name and look at you but I’d forget it . . . and that can be aggravating,” she said.
Hinton was flung backward on her treadmill, and slammed her head on the floor so violently that she nearly lost her life.
One of her motivations for speaking out about her injury, she says, is to warn people about the dangers of treadmills — something she had no clue about beforehand.
“People need to either make the manufacturers change the safety of the treadmill, or stop using them, because they are dangerous,” she told The Post. “I’ve been using a treadmill all my life, and I had no idea how dangerous they can be — until I found out.”
De Blasio hired Hinton in May 2015. She resigned to join the private sector less than a year later. She formerly had worked for Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he was US housing secretary.
Hinton is married to Howard Glaser, a former top Cuomo aide, whom she credits — along with her loving family and therapists — for her recovery.
She says the incident has greatly altered her perspective on life.
“I want to spend as much time as possible with my daughter and my husband because for me, it was scary that I could have ended up without any memory, or without any physical strength or I could have passed away,” she said.
“When you realize I survived it, you just thank the Lord that you have, and you want to be with those people and enjoy those moments.”