First responder saved lives during 9/11 but fell into depression—Years later, wife had enough

"Definitely one of the saddest moments of his life"
February 4, 2018 2:08 pm Last Updated: February 4, 2018 2:08 pm

September 11, 2001, is a tragic event in recent American history. Nearly 3,000 people died that day to terrorist attacks and thousands more were injured. High though those numbers may be, they would have been even higher were it not for people like Bob the firefighter.

But Bob’s heroism came with a high personal cost.

(Rachael Ray Show/Screenshot)

Bob was a first responder during 9/11. It was his job to clean up New York City and make sure its people were safe. Bob was a true hero but, unfortunately, that heroism came with a cost. Coming face-to-face with tragedy led to a seemingly unending spiral of depression.

“What Bob went through on 9/11 changed his entire being,” Bob’s wife, Diane, said on the Rachael Ray Show. “He went into his own little world.

“He stopped exercising. He stopped doing anything he ever liked or enjoyed doing.”

(Rachael Ray Show/Screenshot)

Bob became incredibly lethargic. He would just sit around all the time with no will to do anything. As a result, he gained 150 pounds. He also developed diabetes and sleep apnea and needed to be hooked up to a machine at night to help him breathe.

(Rachael Ray Show/Screenshot)

“The transformation [was] from this big, strong man that I met, to a couch potato who was just letting himself go,” said Diane.

As their set of twins started going on college visits last year, Bob struggled to keep up. He’d find a bench every few minutes to sit down.

That’s when he knew he needed to make a change.

(Rachael Ray Show/Screenshot)

“I would say that is definitely one of the saddest moments of his life,” Diane said.

Bob joined a gym shortly thereafter and lost 12.5 pounds in the first week but he didn’t stop there. It wasn’t easy for him but he managed to lose 111 pounds within a year!

“He’s very close to the weight he was when we first met, which was 220 pounds,” Diane explained.

(Rachael Ray Show/Screenshot)

Bob was looking great but now none of his clothes fit. He needed to borrow Diane’s hair ties and form a little tail in the back to get them to fit right.

While it was great that Bob lost the weight, having a tail in the back every day made him look pretty silly.

So Diane nominated Bob for a makeover on the Rachael Ray Show.

(Rachel Ray Show/Screenshot)

“I would love to see him in a new wardrobe: clothes that actually fit. He deserves this. He’s worked very hard,” she said.

With the help of lifestyle expert Tommy DiDario, host Rachael Ray was able to give Bob the high fashion “GQ look” he deserved! When Bob walked on to the stage wearing a gray sports coat, navy blue slacks, and brown shoes, his wife almost couldn’t believe it!

“It’s incredible! Incredible!” she said.

(Rachael Ray Show/Screenshot)

Bob was happy with his new look too.

“I feel fantastic!” he said. “Things are different.”

It’s great to see Bob’s transformation after nearly two decades stuck in a rut. Now Diane can say she’s not only married to a hero but a devilishly handsome one at that!

Watch Bob’s amazing makeover in the video below: