Rebecca FernandezApr 6, 2018, 2:28 pmApr 6, 2018, 2:32 pm

Man from Ronkonkoma who was severely hurt while at work gets help from community

Electrical accident at NYC Penn Station resulted in Rob Zimmerman losing his left arm, right hand and a toe


RONKONKOMA — A Long Island community is coming together to help one of its own who is on a long road to recovery after he was involved in a technical disaster at Penn Station in January.

"That day was a normal work day like any other day,” Rob Zimmerman said while he recounted the day of the accident. “We all got assigned what we were supposed to do. The power was supposed to be out and then we were up to there, went up to the top of the cat car where the platform area is, I found out quickly that it wasn't. When I came in contact with the wire and then my whole life changed."

Zimmerman, an Amtrak lineman, was working on several tracks in Penn Station when he was badly burned by an overhead wire on Jan. 11. Since then, the father of three has had to undergo 10 surgeries. He lost his left arm all the way up to his shoulder, his right hand and one of his toes, and has suffered multiple medical complications.

"I'm just thankful that he's still here. Because he's here, we can get through anything," said Zimmerman’s wife, Christine.

A Navy veteran and Lakeland volunteer firefighter, he is now fighting a more personal battle to recover from this tragic accident, and his family is right there beside him.

"There's a lot! He needs to learn how to do everything again. From eating to brushing his teeth, everything, he needs to learn how to do it. You don't even realize what you need until it happens," Christine Zimmerman said.

A gofundme page was created for the Zimmermans in hopes to raise enough money to renovate their home so that his daily routine can be a little easier. In just two months, they've raised over $46,000 of their $100,000 goal.

"I'm at a loss for words. It's fantastic," Christine Zimmerman said.

Having the support not only from his family, but from the entire community is what rob said keeps him hopeful every day.

"A second chance at life is unbelievable,” Rob Zimmerman said. “I died twice during this whole process. So now that I'm here with you guys is amazing."

The accident that left Zimmerman severely hurt is currently still under investigation by Amtrak.

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