“It was very bad. I am very lucky to be here, but my recovery is going extremely well.” she said
Jane McGoldrick is back.
The owner, operator and chef of the popular downtown eatery East Street Pizza Company will resume her busy professional life after being seriously injured in a motorcycle accident near Havilland Bay on June 18.
After intensive care, she spent months in the rehabilitation unit at Sudbury’s Health Sciences North before being released on October 6.
“I heal extremely well,” McGoldrick told SooToday.
“I can walk again. I was very lucky not to be paralyzed.”
McGoldrick suffered a broken spine and a broken left leg – both of which required surgery – as well as broken ribs and a punctured lung in the June accident.
“It was very bad. I am very lucky to be here, but my recovery is going extremely well. I have made great strides and I am leading the way. With time and work, I’m expected to make a full recovery.”
She is currently undergoing physiotherapy treatments at the Sault.
McGoldrick, a very active person, said: “It’s been incredibly overwhelming because right now obviously I’m not able to go at 110 miles per hour like before, but I’m learning how to make it work, be positive and I know that coming home and back into my community and back into my business will eventually get me where I need to be.
McGoldrick’s staff dedicatedly kept East Street Pizza running in her absence.
“They’ve done such a fantastic job of running things. I’m so incredibly grateful to my staff.”
“What was surprising to me was that I’m used to being a lone wolf. I just do everything by myself and I go, go, go and I get things done, and when I really needed help, people were willing to step in and help and support me.”
“That really kept me through the hard parts and I realize I’m not alone and I’ve had support and wanting to help people, and I just need to learn how to ask for help.”
McGoldrick kept in touch with her company from her hospital bed through her laptop.
“Doing little bits to run it and manage it kept me healthy.”
“I was always in the background,” she chuckled.
McGoldrick went back to work on Monday.
“I messaged Kurtis McDermid of Odd Job Jacks as I needed help tearing down my patio and he was there in the blink of an eye. We’ve basically closed down for the past few days and just organized everything, not that it needed a major revamp, but just to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. We’ve just reset, regrouped, I’ve talked to the staff and set our goals about what we want to do in the future. ”
McGoldrick said she will return to work every day as her physical recovery continues.
“I have to take each day as it comes. I know my mind wants to be there every day, but I also have to keep in mind that I have some injuries that are healing, but I definitely plan to be there when I have the energy.”
“I can’t do a lot of the physical stuff right now, but there’s still a lot I can do to keep us relevant and on the map and I’m hopeful that people will continue to support us.”
McGoldrick is no stranger to successfully taking on challenges.
“It’s been very long, tough years with the pandemic and running a business in an area of economic decline, downtown. That was already a huge gamble and then came the pandemic. Now more than ever I really want to encourage people to ‘support locally’.”
With community in mind, McGoldrick also plans to step down from her role as executive chef at Harvest Algoma.
Harvest Algoma is addressing local food security concerns by collecting food, bringing excess food to the community and implementing a program to ensure food is not thrown away by restaurants and supermarkets.
“We have so many different initiatives in our community such as Grocer 4 Good, Social Services, St. Vincent Place. There are so many beautiful projects we have. For me personally, I have to do these things to be who I am. They are so important to me,” McGoldrick said.
While going through the ordeal of a long hospital stay, the well-known local chef and manager had time to reflect on life.
“When you look at four walls and a window in the hospital, it’s surprising what things come to mind that are important to you, that you value,” McGoldrick said.
“I know it sounds cliché, but love is the answer. It’s about family.”
In addition to family and friends, McGoldrick enjoys the company of her two dogs and is looking forward to eventually returning to cycling, mountain biking and hiking.
In a professional sense, it is paramount for her to get back up to speed in her gourmet pizza restaurant and her other community engagements.
“As easy as it would have been to just say ‘I can’t do this, I can’t handle this, it’s too much, I need to focus on my health’, the business is part of me. It’s part of my mantra, it’s part of our downtown, and it’s so much more than just a business. My employees are my family.”
“I had a lot of time to think about things in the hospital and a lot of fights to fight and it was really hard, but I do know that where I am in my life right now is exactly where I should be. I have no regrets and I know I’m doing the right things, so I’m grateful to be back and doing them.”