Showing Support 
Injured Florida Associate's Story Touches Thousands 

By Deborah Ball, RE/MAX Times Online Associate Editor

Those close to him say that Rob Gangi is the kind of person who brings light to others' lives, lends a helping hand to his clients and makes everyone laugh. This is especially true at his office, RE/MAX Masterpiece Realty in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

But now, Gangi's fellow Associates and an entire community are doing their part to bring some comfort and hope to Gangi's family following a freak skateboarding accident on Dec. 26. The incident, which occurred at his parents' home in North Carolina, left the 42-year-old Sales Associate in a coma with traumatic brain injuries.

The "Pray for Rob Gangi" page on Facebook has been flooded with well wishes and prayers from more than 4,000 people – many of whom don't know Gangi or his family. The outpouring for Gangi spurred widespread local media attention in the Treasure Coast Palm newspaper and on WPEC-TV. If you want to offer thoughts for the family or get information on how to help them, visit the Facebook page.

Gangi's colleagues pooled money to purchase gift certificates to restaurants in Asheville, N.C., where Gangi's wife and 17-year-old son keep vigil at his hospital bedside, as well as cards and donations to help pay for his ongoing care, says Broker/Owner Kathy Slusser. So far, Associates have contributed more than $3,000, and plan to send care packages to his family each week.

"We want his family to know we'll help them in any way we can," Slusser says. "Realtors at other companies are helping out, too, because he's such an amazing guy who has touched so many people. As an agent, he's dedicated to the job; he'll go out and help clients with things in their homes whenever they call. That's just the type of person Rob is."

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Comments (10)
Rob was the first person to befriend me when I moved to RE/MAX of Stuart. He made me feel welcome, and I hope and pray that I can help welcome him back.
– Sherri A. Westervelt, RE/MAX of Stuart, Stuart, Fla.

I worked with Rob at RE/MAX of Stuart. He always made the ladies on staff laugh with a silly joke, and was quick to give us a little back rub if he saw that we were stressing. He is one of a kind, and we are all pulling for him and wishing him a speedy recovery.
– Elizabeth Goodlunis, RE/MAX of Stuart, Stuart, Fla.

My heart goes out to the Gangi family. On October 1, 2004, our 24-year-old son was in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for over a month and gradually made progress. Because he was uninsured, we fought for three years to get him placed where he could get the proper OT, PT and speech therapy. He makes advances every day. So little is actually known about the brain and its plasticity. Neurons continue to reconnect. There is always hope and, after over five years, ours will never diminish.
– Kay Fuller, RE/MAX Allied, Calhoun, Ga.

Rob and I had our numbers mixed up, and we kept calling each other back until it got to be so funny when we heard each other's voice we'd just start laughing! Sometimes it would be just what we needed during a trying day. I really hope the family can feel how many people really care, and if love can heal he will pull through this! Best wishes and lots of prayers.
– Lillian Steele, RE/MAX of Stuart, Stuart, Fla.

Rob sent out a text one Mother’s Day to all the moms in the office. When I got mine I had just learned how to text. I opened my first text and thought it was from my kids. It said “Happy Mother’s Day.” So I hit reply and texted back, Thanks, I love the flowers and the card and I love you. He immediately texted me back…WRONG HUSBAND! I realized at that moment that it was Rob’s phone number. I called him and we laughed so hard. Ever since, EVERY HOLIDAY he sends me a text that looks similar to the one he just sent me this Christmas 09. It said, Merry Christmas and Happy Mother’s Day. What a charm! God made him and broke the mold. We will keep praying hard for him. 
– Lisa Colletti, RE/MAX of Stuart, Stuart, Fla.

I'm Rob's brother, Rick, and on behalf of my family, I want to thank everyone at RE/MAX for your kindness, compassion, prayers and generosity. When Rob comes back to us, this outpouring from all these people will surprise him, but it doesn't surprise me. Be strong, be positive, we need you all! Thank you!
– Rick Gangi, Randolph, N.J.

It’s really encouraging to see the outpouring of love and support from the friends and RE/MAX associates of Rob Gangi. Although I’ve never met him, prayers for Rob’s complete recovery and a peace that passes understanding for his family, are sent from Washington’s Inland Empire.  
– Andrea Tappero, RE/MAX Inland Empire, Spokane, Wash.

I believe the saying that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. I'm sorry I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Rob. He sounds like my kind of guy. God bless him and all of the people who love him.
– Judy K. Bellm, RE/MAX Lake Cities, Hickory Creek, Texas

My mom suffered serious brain damage in the front of her head from a fall. My sister, also a Realtor, went every day to PT with mom, and our daughter is a PT in Tucson. Here is what you must know; once Rob is out of the coma: organize. General PT goes only a little way ... you can learn to do it and get friends/Realtors to help. You have to be consistent and spend a lot of time working with Rob. Mom learned to speak and walk again, and stand, and she was a lot older than Rob. Do not think that the PT and OT can bring them back with a few sessions each week. Sending positive thoughts your way.
– Joan Dailey, RE/MAX Advisors, Barrington, Ill.

I am so sorry to hear about Rob, I do not know him but I do know God and he never shuts a door without opening a window. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family. I will say a prayer for him and them. 
– Beverly Rowe, RE/MAX Tyler, Tyler, Texas

My husband suffered brain injury in 1999. He died twice on the way to the hospital, after he fell 25 feet in the dead of winter onto ice and concrete, and missed a nail by inches. He had five breaks in his head and broke all his ribs, his pelvis, and more. He was in in a coma for 30 days, all the time the doctors wanted us to get our rest, eat well, and take time for ourselves as if he was around. When we saw him, we were not allowed to cry or talk negatively, no talk about what he was going through in front of him. We talked around him as if he was there, told jokes, put up photos so when he came to there was some visual comfort for him. He came through when my son was in the room with a friend. My husband asked for me. I came down, gave him a kiss and told him what occurred in brief. At that point he could not write, even though he tried. He saw double for about 3 months. He was sent to another hospital for physical therapy for 30 days. He knew he was coming to when he laughed as the nurse watered his artificial orchid plant. There were many tubes in him for a month, plus a tracheotomy tube. In the hospital for that length of time, one loses 3% of their body muscle each day they are down. When he came to, we brought in blueprints for him to bid as he was a contractor, we asked him questions relating to work, which brought his memory back into synch. We played cards, gave him electronic games, solitaire, etc., to keep his mind working. He did end up with Aterial Flutter – and had surgery to correct it. He needed a pacemaker, and hearing aides, as the fall damaged the ear canals. We have had many adjustments, which were easily fed into our daily life. He is back working, can figure numbers better than I in his mind versus me using the calculator. He does rearrange his clothes often, his garage and the kitchen. He needs to see items he uses often. He's a stickler for cleaniness, and clean bathrooms. Has his humor back, and does all he ever did except stays off of roofs and scaffolds. He's driving, and GPS was the best gift we ever gave him, as he did lose a bit of direction also. He also has short-term memory, but we do not know if maybe some of that is just his age! We do talk about the accident, he did not see the white light. He cannot remember the fall but can remember part of the day before. We all talk about that day together and laugh about things that occurred in the hospital, and to him that was humourous in nature. We also talk about what our friends, family and I did while he was in the hospital. Life is good, he is with us. Be patient and positive, laugh lots and love much. Do not take it all too seriously.
– Ann Hess, REMAX Advisors, Burnsville, Minn.

Rob and I have come across each others paths many times in recent years and quite a bit on the phone. He is a wonderful person. He has such a great personality; its always a lift when you talk to him. I just can't say enough about what a great man he is and fun to be around. I just found out about this and my thoughts and prayers are with him.
– Susan B. Columbo, RE/MAX 100 Riverside, Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

Posted 1/8/10