Our Friend Rob Woo Was Seriously Hurt in Accident At Goldman Sachs

I came back from walking the dogs tonight and sat down to watch TV. I always go to bed after walking the dogs, but for some reason I didn’t. Then I was flipping channels at the top of the hour and started watching the 11:00 news on NY1 – something else I rarely ever do. One of the top stories was about a construction crane accident in lower Manhattan at the new Goldman Sachs building. They said one person in a construction trailer was seriously injured.

I was hoping it wasn’t our friend, Rob Woo, who’s an architect on the project, so I started searching on Google to find stories about the accident. I saw one article that called him “Robert Wood” – it was close enough that I woke up Dan who was sleeping on the couch next to me and told him Rob might have been hurt – the reporters might have gotten his name wrong. (Rob was the best man at his brother’s wedding.) Then I found another article that spelled his name correctly and gave his age. Then I knew for sure it was him.

Dan called his mom, who called Rob’s mom. We called the hospital and left a message, not knowing what else to do. Then Dan’s mom called him back. Rob’s injuries are really serious and all sorts of family have flown in to be with him, his wife and his kids. Hopefully we’ll be able to get in touch with them tomorrow and help out a bit…

Update @ 10:20 the next morning…

The gothamist has an incredible photo of the crane accident on their site snapped by one of their readers… Just imagine being in that construction trailer…

Crane collapse seriously hurts Rob Woo

We’re leaving in a bit to go to the hospital to see his family and possibly Rob…

Update @ 6:20 the next evening…

We just got back from spending most of the day at the hospital with Rob and his wife. He’s in incredibly bad shape, as you might expect. His spine is broken and dislocated, and everyone’s pretty convinced at this point that he’ll be paralyzed from the waist down as a result, though it was promising that he seemed to have a little feeling in his legs when a neurologist examined him this afternoon.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time for his family. His wife just moved here from Toronto 6 weeks ago with their two kids (Rob has been commuting back and forth for over a year now). Just yesterday (the day of the accident) they closed on the sale of their loft in Toronto, which would have been a perfect place for someone in a wheelchair. And yesterday was also the 2nd anniversary of his wife’s father’s death. So, really bad time for the family. His brother, mother, and mother-in-law have all come down from Toronto and his father (a doctor, who’s recovering from surgery himself) may be coming in the next day or so.

The press have been trying to get interviews, and curiously one arrived at their apartment this morning and by coincidence had the same name as someone his wife was expecting so he was let into the building. Being unprepared to say “no” his wife (Lisa) granted the interview and spent quite a while talking to the reporter in attempt to have Rob portrayed as a real, wonderful human being rather than a nondescript accident victim. Apparently the reporter didn’t show any credentials – so we’re just hoping he was really a reporter…

Early tomorrow morning he’ll be going into surgery to stabilize his back. From the sounds of it they’ll be realigning his spine, fusing some of the bones (I believe the break is at the 10th and 11th vertebrae), and putting rods in his back to avoid further injury.

Rob Woo with his kidsUpdate @ 10 am Sunday…

Well, it seems the reporter I mentioned above who interviewed Lisa was a legit reporter – Mike Jaccarino. He and his colleagues wrote a great piece on Rob that really portrayed him as the great guy he is… The picture they have of him (here to the right) is off Lisa’s camera. It has a bit of a funny story behind it in that she had all sorts of pics of the kids on the camera since she spends all day with them, but had a hard time finding one of him. This one isn’t the best pic (he’s more attractive than that), but it’s not bad…

Update @ 11 pm Monday…

We stopped by the hospital tonight. They had to move Rob because he had a fake doctor (a reporter?) sneak in and try to visit him. Then there was the call from the guy with a thick Brooklyn accent who claimed to be his cousin (his relatives are Chinese Canadians, so it was pretty funny). And apparently there was a whole gaggle of reports waiting for his family this morning, but gratefully (other than the one ‘fake doctor’) they just waited patiently in the lobby…

But the good news is that Rob has feeling down to his ankles. It’s hard to tell what this means, but it’s definitely a good sign. He was still in pretty bad shape (things like bruises are looking more prominent), and they have to have him on so many pain killers that he goes from being somewhat lucid to completely out of it in a matter of minutes. But he was definitely better than he was a couple of days ago. He’s even able to eat some solid food…

Yesterday’s surgery apparently went well. He’s now able to sit more vertically. However, they may need to do another surgery in the coming days (from the front this time) to fix other problems.

He is enjoying having friends stop by – it cheers him up a lot to see familiar faces, though we had to be careful not to stay too long and tire him out.

For more on the story check out the following stories online:

3 thoughts on “Our Friend Rob Woo Was Seriously Hurt in Accident At Goldman Sachs

  1. Thank you for posting the information on Robert. Please keep us updated. The NY Adamson staff gets bits and pieces and we all are not giving up that for the bets possible outcome for Robert.

  2. Rob has settled with the parties who were responsible. I don’t know the terms of the settlement, but there were pretty big names involved – The contractor was Tishman, the (impatient) client was Goldman Saks, and I believe the City of NY was named in his suit as well. But again, I don’t know who ultimately wound up paying how much.

    His life will never be the same and there have been some a lot of big changes for him personally since the accident.

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