Friday, December 13, 2013
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Robert Gaul, right, with wife Jamie, suffered a fall that left him paralyzed from the chest down on Aug. 24. The family is hoping Robert can come home soon.
October 01, 2013
DALLAS -- Jamie Gaul knew something was wrong when her husband's Gator wasn't parked where it should be.
It was 10:15 p.m. on Aug. 24 and Gaul and her children were returning home from running errands.
She knew her husband, Robert Gaul, had headed out to his tree stand on the back part of their 28-acre property near Pedee. It was the opening of archery deer season and he wanted to see if he could spot a buck from his perch 22 feet above the forest floor.
But he wouldn't be out there at night by himself, Jamie thought upon her return home that night, so she called a family friend to see if he was out with Robert.
"He was asleep, so I knew something was wrong," Jamie said last week.
A group of the family's neighbors quickly formed a search party. What they found has changed the family's life forever.
They located Robert alive and conscious on the ground below his tree stand. A fall shattered his spine and left him paralyzed from the waist down.
He was flown by helicopter to Legacy Emanuel Hospital, where he has remained since.
"His spirits are pretty good," Jamie Gaul said. "He's been there for five weeks. He wants to come home."
Given the amount of preparation that needs to be done first, that journey could be long.
The Gauls don't have medical insurance and the accident has left the family's home-based business shorthanded. They've applied for Medicaid for Robert, but aren't certain what the outcome will be.
Also, the Gauls need to make alterations to their home to make it easier for Robert to get around once he does come home. Volunteers, local nonprofits and businesses have donated time, supplies and money to build a wheelchair access ramp.
However, the home's bathroom will need to be remodeled. Robert also needs a wheelchair, a lift to help him get out of bed, and other medical equipment that will be required before he can come home.
To make matters worse, Robert's spine injury spread, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. There is a chance he could recover from the setback, but now the concern is bringing Robert home.
"Everyone pray for him that he can recover and he can get back to his family as soon as possible," Jamie said.
You Can Help
* The Gaul Family is posting updates on Robert's progress at www.caringbridge.org/visit/gaul/mystory. Donations can be accepted on the site or at www.gofundme.com/robertgaul.