It’s been a little over a week since 67-year-old Catherine Riddell woke up in hospital, a survivor of the April 23 deadly van attack on Yonge Street.
“I’m Cathy, if you were wondering who I am,” she told Global News with a cheeky smile from her window-side bed at St. Michael’s Hospital on Wednesday.
Riddell, who suffered fractures and internal bleeding, could be there for another two months.
“It will be a long road to recovery. Bones heal when they are ready to heal,” she said.
While the attack left her in the ICU with broken bones, it has clearly not broken her spirit.
“I could kick these windows out … it’s so hot in here,” she said while chuckling.
The heat is stark reminder of that Monday just over a week ago. It was the first of a few nice days in Toronto and Yonge street between finch and Sheppard was bustling.
WATCH: Toronto first responders on coping after the van attack
A white Ryder rental van allegedly driven by 25-year-old Alek Minassian plowed through pedestrians walking along the sidewalks before 1:30 p.m. Ten people were killed and 16 were injured. Minassian has been charged with 10 counts of first degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. Three additional counts of attempted murder are expected to be laid during a court appearance next week.
“I have no memory of what happened to me, but I know someone helped me that day. I am so thankful to them,” said Riddell, who is legally blind.
She added she would be happy to meet with the first responders who were there.
And as Riddell continues to heal in hospital, others have been lucky enough to return home.
Mavis Justino, who was injured in the attack, is home and recovering. When Global News stopped by her apartment on Friday, a woman who introduced herself as Justino’s best friend answered the door, saying only that she was “sedated and waiting to see the doctor again.”
“She has been through a traumatic experience,” the woman said. “She wants to be left alone.”
The same woman also told Global News that Justino has hired a lawyer but did not have the counsel’s name.
Twenty-seven-year-old Morgan McDougall was one of the first victims to be released from hospital. A student at Seneca College, his family said he suffered minor physical injuries but is “lucky to be alive.”
“His scrapes and bruises are getting better but it’s a constant reminder of what happened,” his grandmother, Norma McDougall, told Global News.
“He is OK, but it’s more the thinking about it that he’s still healing from.”
Back at St. Mike’s, with the reality of last week setting in, it’s a sentiment Riddell said she can understand.
“I plan on speaking to someone. You have to take care of yourself,” she said, referring to counseling.
Riddell hopes everyone who witnessed the traumatic event will do the same.