NEW YORK (WABC) -- A Manhattan woman who is suing the city after she and her three children were badly injured by a falling tree in Central Park last summer is speaking out.
Anne Monoky was taking her three sons, ages 7 months, 3 and 4, on a walk when the 75-foot elm tree came down on top of her on August 15, 2017.
"Our lives are forever altered by what happened," she said. "We got ready that morning in our apartment, it was a beautiful sunny day...and we went to the park and that's all I remember. The next think I know, I was in the ICU."
Monoky suffered four fractures in her neck, while her middle son suffered a skull fracture. She has had to wear a neck brace ever since that day, and she explained it has changed her life completely.
Monoky used to run marathons, but now, doctors tell her any major jarring to the two fractures in her neck -- which will never completely heal - could leave her paralyzed.
"To be told by the doctor, you know, your C-1 is connected to your diaphragm, and you will stop breathing if something jarring happens to you, you have to be really careful," she said. "So, I mean, for my kids, I just have to move forward and keep going. I can't fall, and I can't do anything outside. I have to be really careful."
The $200 million lawsuit cites New York City, the Central Park Conservancy, and private contractors who work for both.
Her lawyers insist the dead tree falling on a sunny day was entirely preventable and not a freak accident.
"We hired two extraordinarily qualified experts who took one look at this tree root system and said, whoa, this is a tree that had every overt sign of failing," attorney Thomas Kline said.
Related: Root rot caused tree to fall on mom, kids in Central Park, conservancy says
The experts found that the tree was over-watered, under-maintained and had wear and tear from being hit by snow plows.
Monoky and her husband, Curt Goldman, say they want to make sure this never happens to anyone else.
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Mother of 3 injured in Central Park tree fall speaking out