PEPPERELL — Recovery continues for the Milford, N.H., woman who suffered what was initially described as life-threatening injuries when her vehicle was struck by another vehicle operated by a Westford man who police say was driving drunk.
The family of Julie Dupuis says the 59-year-old left the hospital and returned to her home at the end of October, but is unable to bear weight on either of her legs. The family has started a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs.
“We are committed to helping our parents through their healing process in any way we can, which is why we have decided to launch this fundraiser,” said Chad and Jenn Dupuis, the children of Julie Dupuis and Peter Dupuis — who was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
“Our goal is to help with the many expenses incurred due to this traumatic event, as well as help cover the inevitable future expenses they will face,” the siblings said.
A report detailing the crash from the Pepperell Police Department says 25-year-old Robert Livermore was traveling west on Route 119 in his 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee at about 7:40 p.m. Oct. 4 when his vehicle crossed the center line. Police said the Jeep hit the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe, driven by Julie Dupuis, head on. Peter Dupuis was in the passenger seat of the vehicle.
Peter Dupuis was transported to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, where he was treated and released within a week of the wreck.
Julie Dupuis’ injuries were more severe. The Pepperell Fire Department was forced to use the Jaws of Life to extricate her from the vehicle. She was then transported by MedFlight to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, with what were reported as life-threatening injuries. Chad and Jenn Dupuis said in the GoFundMe page that she was stabilized during an emergency surgery.
“As we received further updates, we quickly realized just how extensive and life-changing her condition was,” Chad and Jenn Dupuis said on the GoFundMe page. “The following days were filled with further surgeries and ICU care.”
Julie Dupuis was later transported to another hospital to begin initial rehab and on Oct. 31 was moved to her home in Milford.
“It is a very difficult situation and we are still taking it all one day at a time,” said family member Michele Troy. “No matter how long it takes, we remain hopeful that Julie will be able to walk again.”
Those who want to help the Dupuis family can do so by visiting gofundme.com/f/julie-dupuis-medical-expense-fund. As of Friday night, more than $28,000 had been raised by 293 donors, with the goal set at $50,000.
Meanwhile, Livermore faces criminal charges for allegedly causing the crash while under the influence of alcohol. He was arraigned a day after the wreck and released on his own recognizance. As part of his release, the Westford man was ordered to not have any alcohol, must submit to random drug and alcohol screens, and is not allowed to operate a motor vehicle.
Livermore is slated to appear in court on Nov. 18.
Follow Aaron Curtis on Twitter @aselahcurtis