Help Pours In For Westporter Paralyzed In Nor’easter

Somehow, in the swirl of news following last week’s nor’easter, this awful news was overlooked everywhere.

A week ago, as winds howled, Victoria Gouletas — a real estate attorney, and member of Westport’s Zoning Board of Appeals — was crushed when a large tree branch snapped. It hit her head and back, fracturing several bones in her neck, scapula and sternum.

Victoria Gouletas

The tree also broke her back, paralyzing her from the chest down. She has been told she will never walk again.

Victoria retains complete mental capacity, and can use her head, neck and arms. Doctors assure her family that, with intense physical therapy, she can regain her daily independence, care for herself and her family, drive her children to school and return to work full time.

Still, her life will be very different.

Victoria and her husband, Troy Burk, and their children Ana (10), Tafe (9) and Zoe (2½), love Westport. They have been touched by the outpouring of love and well wishes they have received from the community. Many people have offered to help.

Victoria is committed to her family, her town and her career. She is fiercely determined to live a full life, regaining as much mobility as her body will allow. She has vowed to work as hard as possible to beat the odds.

Victoria Gouletas, her husband Troy Burk and their kids.

However, her recovery will be a marathon, not a sprint. Out-of-pocket costs of retrofitting her life — while continuing to care for her family — will be immense and ongoing.

Upcoming expenses include a house renovation or relocation, vehicles to accommodate her limitations, ongoing nursing care, plus child care and housekeeping services.

A GoFundMe page was set up yesterday. The goal is $75,000. In less than 24 hours, it’s collected over $11,000.

Click here to contribute. The Gouletas and Burk families thank all for their support.

15 responses to “Help Pours In For Westporter Paralyzed In Nor’easter

  1. Janette Kinnally

    Thank you for sharing this Dan. I had no idea. I will definitely donate to the go fund page set up today.
    This is when the community rallies around one of their own. So sorry for the whole family, but we are here for you! 🙏

  2. Danielle Dobin

    Victoria is an absolutely wonderful person. Just horrifying how life can change in a split second. I hope everyone in our community will help support her and her family as they work through this. I have every confidence that Victoria will return to her family, work and volunteer commitments with the same energy, positivity, grace, care and love she has always shown but help with creating an accessible environment at home is really critical.

  3. As a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals along with Victoria we have valued her insight, intelligence and dedication to our town. The board is looking forward to her returning and miss her participation. Victoria and Troy recently took the family to Italy and I recall how excited she was telling me about their plans. They Burk’s are a wonderful family and I will do whatever I can to help.

  4. Arline Gertzoff

    Thanks Dan for getting this out.The response has been amazing .I hope anyone able will contribute I t doesn’t matter whether it’s 5$ or 500 $ It all adds up to help Victoria.I know Westporters will rise to the challenge They always do

  5. My heart is completely broken. I walk my dogs by Victoria’s house every day, and was so happy when her young and lively family moved in a few years ago. It has been a joy to watch her children grow. And with all the responsibility of a job, a house, a husband, three children, and two dogs, Victoria had yet more to offer and ran for the ZBA. If anyone can make a comeback, she can.

  6. Danielle Natarajan

    Many have expressed interest in setting up a meal train for this family. A meal train is where members of the community volunteer to provide/deliver a dinner, which can be bought or home cooked, doesn’t matter. But we need someone who knows the family well or has a direct contact into them, so that we may get some logistical questions sorted out, such as preferred delivery days/times and food restrictions. If you know the family well and are willing to help answer some questions, please email We also don’t want to duplicate efforts so if this is being organized by someone else, please also let me know so that we may combine forces.

    • Clair Benmosche

      Hi Danielle! There is already a meal in the works for the past few days and a months worth of days filled up quickly. But we may get more dates from the Burk family. Please feel free to email me with any people that you think may want to be added.
      I have your your email address

  7. Elina Lublinsky


  8. Andrew O’Brien

    Dan – The GoFundMe page mentions a meal train site. Do you know where I can find a link to that?

    • Andrew, scroll up a bit in the Comments section here. You’ll find info in comments by Danielle Natarajan and Clair Benmosche about the meal train. THANKS for asking! – Dan

    • Clair Benmosche

      Hi Andrew!
      We created a mealtrain for them and wonderfully all the dates The family has given us have been taken. But feel free to email me at if you would like to participate when/if we get more dates.

  9. Adam Vengrow

    Great work getting this around Danielle Dobin and Dan Woog. Glad to help out and lets make sure we stay on the support side for whatever needed down the road ahead.

  10. Bill Boyd (Staples '66)

    This is such a traumatic story…I hope and believe it will inspire many to really around the family…please keep us posted Dan (if the family doesn’t mind). Blessings to all.