Moral Low Ground


‘The Moral High Ground’: Boyfriend’s Message of Love Revives Severely Injured Woman

Emilie Gossiaux before her tragic accident.

Emilie Gossiaux, a 21-year-old art student from New York, never imagined her life would take a tragic turn for the worse one morning last fall when she left home and rode her bike to class. Emilie never made it there, she was hit by an 18-wheeler and suffered brain damage, a stroke and fractures of the head, leg and pelvis.

According to WNYC’s Radiolab and the Huffington Post, Emilie’s mother, father and boyfriend, Alan Lundgard, spent shift after shift at her bedside as she lie there mostly unresponsive. Because she couldn’t respond to doctor’s commands, her family was told that she was ineligible to be moved to a rehabilitation program. Already hearing impaired since childhood, Emilie’s eyes now could not follow visual stimuli. It looked like she was heading for a vegetative life in a nursing home.

But Lundgard wasn’t about to give up hope. He researched Helen Keller online and decided to duplicate the communication methods used by Keller’s teacher. He gently wrote I LOVE U on the palm of Emilie’s hand, and to his surprise, she responded immediately.Emilie was soon headed to rehabilitation.

She’s now recovering in New York University’s Rusk Institute. She’s blind, but she can hear with the help of a hearing aid. She plans to continue making her art, using her hands rather than her eyes to create. Emilie is optimistic despite  her crushing medical expenses.

If you’d like to help Emilie Gossiaux with her “overwhelming” medical bills, please go to She’s raised $40,000 so far; she’s got $160,000 to go to meet her goal.

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  1. FranziskaMarch 7, 2011 at 10:29 amReply

    The power of love!

  2. Patricia DolanMay 3, 2011 at 3:25 pmReply

    The moral low ground goes to the folks who have resisted universal health care coverage. With the challenges she faces in recovering and in eventually supporting herself, Emilie should not be saddled with overwhelming debt.

    What kind of two-bit country is the United State that we abandon people with injuries unless they are rich? I’d expect this in an impoverished third-world country, but American has the resources.

    The folks with second homes, big boats, a garage full of snowmobiles just value these things more highly than the satisfaction and pride of knowing no one would go without health care in their country!

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