“Good. Really good.”
That’s how Emily Goss describes how she’s doing, nearly two-and-a-half years after being hit by a drunk driver in London, England on June 16, 2019. Suffering a brain injury that left her in a medically-induced coma, she was flown home in an air ambulance and her family was told she had a 5% chance of survival and may never walk or talk again.
“When people say, ‘Wow, so amazing, you’ve done so much’, I don’t really realize it,” she says.
After spending two months at Royal Columbian Hospital, Goss was transferred to Queen’s Park Care Centre, where she embarked on a rigorous regime of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.
“I was really depressed during that time because I was confused about why the heck I was there. I didn’t really understand what had happened to me. I was happy to be alive but I was really struggling; really sad as to why I was there,” she tells the Record. “I actually turned off my phone because I didn’t want to know what was going on outside of the hospital.”
Goss was discharged from Queen’s Park Care Centre in time for Christmas 2019. She’s made tremendous progress in her recovery, but the journey continues.
“Now I’m doing speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy. I get a massage every Friday, so massage therapy,” she says. “It’s kind of like a full-time job now.”
Walks and bike rides – activities doctors once thought Goss may never be able to do again – are among her favourite pastimes.
Goss, who was 24 at the time of the accident, was visiting friends in England, where she had previously lived for a couple of years.
Goss attributes her desire to travel again, as well as the support of her family and her boyfriend of six years, as motivating her during the tough times. She’s still looking forward to travelling but she has other plans, too.
“I honestly just really want to help people who maybe are in the same situation, so really talk about it more,” she says.
An Evening with Emily
Goss will be doing just that at An Evening with Emily Goss, a fundraiser for the Queen’s Park Healthcare Foundation that’s taking place on Friday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. at Inn at the Quay. Tickets are $125 (includes a $75 tax receipt) and include a dinner and an evening of inspiration and celebration with Goss and her family.
Lynn Radbourne, a director on the Queen’s Park Healthcare Foundation’s board, said the fundraiser includes a “fireside chat” type of event after dinner with Goss, her parents and her boyfriend. A friend of the family will be asking questions, and audience members can also pass along questions to the narrator.
Warren Goss, Emily’s dad, is creating a video that chronicles her journey of the past two-and-a-half years.
“lt was so bad, but it could have ended up worse,” Radbourne says. “But through Emily’s will and determination, and with all the help she’s gotten, not only from the doctors in England but here at Queen’s Park with her rehab and everything, now she’s coming along really well. Really well.”
People who have followed the family’s journey will be “absolutely blown away” at Goss’s progress, Radbourne said.
According to Radbourne, a couple of doctors have purchased tickets and generously donated them to some patients in the rehabilitation program at Queen’s Park Care Centre.
“These folks will be able to come and hear from Emily, and get a little more inspiration on their recovery,” she says. “The Goss family is so supportive. Oh my gosh; the stuff that they are doing and the help that they are giving us is unbelievable. And 100% of the moneys raised after our expenses will go to Queen’s Park Healthcare Foundation for the Queen’s Park Care Centre.”
Space at the fundraiser is limited to 150 people. A vaccine passport or proof of double vaccination is required to attend.
Organizers are urging attendees to plan a safe ride home – and a local business is providing help on that front.
“Key West Ford has so generously donated a couple of cars, and we have got a couple of volunteers drivers, so if people feel that they shouldn’t be driving home, we will drive them home at no cost. Key West is footing the bill for that for us. That’s huge,” Radbourne says. “Because of how Emily was hurt by a drunk driver, we don’t want that happening to anybody here.”
Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com – search for An Evening With Emily Goss, or by calling the Lizz Kelly, executive director of the Queen’s Park Healthcare Foundation, at 604-517-8661.