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.
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.
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.