Construction worker talks about work accident ordeal, arm reattachment

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - A Black Creek man not only survived a freak accident while working on the Highway 441 bridge project, but his amputated arm was saved and reattached. That accident happened a little more than two years ago on June 6, 2016.

Tim Schroeder's arm shows scars of surgery (WBAY photo)

Tim Schroeder is lucky to be alive. He says, "Two years ago my life changed, big time, when I went to work. We were working and the beam slipped out and cut my arm off."

Part of a team working on the 441 bridge construction project, he not only suffered the fully amputated right arm in the accident but he also broke multiple ribs.

Crews rushed him to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah where a trauma team worked on Schroeder while hand surgeon, Dr. Matthew Butler, was called in to asses the situation.

According to Butler, "I was able to meet Tim in the emergency department and evaluate him, along with the arm. And I felt, based on my impression, this was a reasonable case to attempt reattachment of the arm."

Following a five-hour surgery to reattach the arm, Schroeder spent 26 days in the intensive care unit, finally being released from the hospital in mid-July.

Two years of physical therapy later, his recovery is exceeding everyone's expectations.

"Every day we render medical aid to people and send them to the hospital and we rarely get to see an outcome like this," says Lt. Graham Stewart from Fox Crossing Fire Department, one of the first responders on Schroeder's call.

While recovery hasn't always been easy, and he lives in pain every day, Schroeder continues to work on his rehab for his grandkids and relies on humor to get through it.

"I really appreciate what everybody did for me in this whole process. And I deal with the pain by joking and thinking for another better day when the pain is there," adds Schroeder.

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