More than 30 years after leaving Missouri Southern, David Goad is getting a do-over on his college career.
Goad remembers driving home from Kansas along West Seventh Street during a severe storm back in 1984, but what happened next is a blank. From those who witnessed the accident, he later learned that his ’69 Impala went off the road and into a ravine near the state line.
“I was in a coma for five days, and in ICU for two weeks,” he says. “When I was out of the coma I would talk to people, but people who knew me knew something wasn’t right.”
It wasn’t until he was moved to the Brady Building (of the former St. John’s Regional Medical Center) that he awoke one morning and everything seemed to click into place.
“I looked up and saw a TV on the wall in a corner, and looked over and saw a wheelchair,” Goad says. “I asked the nurse if my parents knew where I was and to tell them I was awake.”
The severe head injury he sustained in the accident, along with neurological issues that required rehabilitation to learn to walk again, brought an end to his time as a Missouri Southern student.
“I tried to come back after the accident and get things on track, but my body wasn’t functioning right,” he says. “There were times I’d try to stand up and practically fall down.”
Goad worked a variety of jobs in the ensuing years, including for Sutherlands, a buyer for a company that manufactured garage door openers and for CFI, a screen-printing company and Schwan’s. When most of the sales staff at his most recent job was let go due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he began considering the idea of returning to Missouri Southern. His wife, Stephanie, ‘97/’04, serves as an international admissions counselor in the MSSU Admissions office.
“I was never a great student back in the day, so I’m learning to have better study habits than I did before,” he says.
Though he’s having to retake some of the classes he first took in the 1980s, the 57-year-old has something going for him this time out as he returns to study computer information science – focus.
“One of the big reasons for not continuing college back then was not being able to keep my mind focused on it,” he says. “I thought maybe this was the best time for me to go back to school and get more computer knowledge.”