Supporting Robert Maull's Recovery

Our son, Robert Maull, was the victim of a brutal assault on February 28, 2008 in Cusco, Peru. Robert remained in a coma for the first six days. He is now able to talk and has all physical movement, but remains sedated in the ICU unit for his own protection, because his brain function is still very confused and he doesn't know where he is or why he needs to remain in the ICU and in bed. Robert suffered severe head injuries including two skull fractures, two brain contusions, a subdural hematoma, brain edema, and defuse brain lesions.

Robert's medical expenses alone (not including legal bills and his father's travel expenses) have already reached $15,000 (as of March 12th) and are continuing at a rate of about $350 - $500 per day. We do not know how much longer Robert will need to remain in the ICU or the hospital, but it could be several months.

We have set up this website for Robert's family and friends who would like to contribute a Medical Fund for Robert's care, follow Robert's progress and enjoy Robert's art. We sincerely appreciate all the concern, support, prayers and strong intention for Robert's recovery expressed by so many of you already.

If you would like to donate to Robert's Medical Fund, you can use the Chip-In feature at right which involves a PayPal transaction. This will not be a tax deductible donation.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please email me at: and I will send you the information on how to make a donation to a Community Foundation that will accept donations on Robert's behalf.

With love and appreciation,
Fleet Maull and Lola Solis de Maull (Robert's Parents)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Update on Robert's recovery

Hi Everyone,
I apologize for being silent for so long. No news has been good news. Robert returned to Boulder from Montana in June and returned to work several weeks ago, working in a restaurant where he worked previously for many years. He's headed back up to Montana today for a visit and to explore a possible job there. It appears that Robert's recovery from the head injury is 100% at this point, so we are extremely grateful and feel incredibly fortunate. I can't even begin to express how much we appreciate the kind support and generosity we received from all of you. I feel like I will be able to rest in a profound state of gratitude (hopefully) for the rest of my life. We have finally paid all of Robert's outstanding medical bills, and I'm starting to get the credit cards paid down. We could not have done it without such wonderful and loving generosity from all of you.

Many of you have asked if Robert has continued his drawing. He has done a little, but hasn't really jumped back into it yet as far as I can tell. At any rate, I am looking forward to seeing his next drawings when they emerge.
Love and blessings to you all,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Robert Improving in Montana

Dear Friends,
I apologize for taking so long to update you all on Robert's progress. I finally fell apart and came down sick with a bad cold/cough etc. I'm still trying to get over it.

Robert has been in Montana for over three weeks now. The first week was quite rough with Robert not wanting to be there at all. The second week was a little easier, but still very challenging. Just about a week ago things began to shift for Robert. He had refused to go to therapy the week prior but has now asked to schedule therapy appointments every day. He has also joined a health club where he is doing yoga and pilates. There are certainly still challenges, but Robert is improving steadily. This is obviously a great relief.

So Robert is seeing a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist and psychotherapist weekly. Actually he sees the speech and occupational therapists two to three times a week. All this if of course costly, but nothing like what inpatient hospital care was costing.

I am hopeful that Robert will be okay with staying at the ashram and doing his therapies in Bozeman for as long as needed. He still verbalizes a very strong desire to get back to his projects in Peru ASAP though. We are just taking it day by day.

Lola and I want to express our most profound appreciation and thanks to all of you. Your love, concern and support have made a huge difference and allowed us to provide Robert with the care and support he needs.

I need to do a new accounting, but Robert's overall expenses have reached somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 and we have raised approximately $30,000 through your wonderful generosity. Robert's current expenses are running about $3000 a month, which is much better than $3000 a day.

Please keep Robert in your prayers and meditation practice.

Love and blessings,
Fleet and Lola

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Robert's in Montana!

Robert and I arrived at our friend Purna's ashram outside of Bozeman, Montana yesterday. Transitions are somewhat difficult for Robert so the first evening was a little difficult with Robert uncertain about wanting to be there, but today Robert seemed to relax more about being there. Robert has friends there and everyone loves him and wants to support his recovery. Robert went to his first session with the speech/cognitive therapist there this morning. Her name is Cathy Fisher and I like her a lot. Robert said it was tolerable, which is saying a lot for him at this point. We said goodbye this afternoon at the Bozeman airport, as Robert and one of the members of the community there dropped me off for my flight back to Denver. I'm going to miss being with Robert, but I think the ashram is going to be an ideal place for Robert to continue his recovery for now. Robert was on the phone with his mom, Lola, today and she was very relieved to know Robert had arrived safely at the ashram and was settling in there. Robert got a drawing table set up in his room there today, so he can begin working on his art. Robert still has challenges, but he seems to be getting a little better each day. Please keep Robert in your thoughts, prayers and practice in support of his full recovery.
So many thanks and blessings from Lola, Robert and me,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Robert's Progress in Boulder

It's been a tough week in Boulder. The minute we arrived on the 4th floor of the Boulder County Hospital where the inpatient unit of the Mapleton Center rehab program is located, Robert decided he did not want to be there and a pitched battle ensued for about six hours until Robert finally feel asleep exhausted and I crawled home to do the same. It was equally rough on Tuesday evening, resulting in a psychologist placing a 72 hour legal hold on Robert. Robert settled down on Wednesday participating in his rehab but didn't sleep well Wednesday evening and Thursday was again a difficult day with Robert refusing to take the antibiotics he needs for his pneumonia. All week it has been so painful to see Robert struggling like this. I just can't imagine waking up from a coma with a brain that isn't working completely having no idea why he was in a hospital or even where he was, much less why he was being kept locked up and being given all these intense drugs and now he's in another hospital with people telling him he can't leave when he thinks he's fine. My heart just breaks every moment.

Then on top of that he had a positive skin test for TB. I was just beside myself last night when I received that news after hardly sleeping all week. I had spent the entire afternoon unsuccessfully trying to convince Robert to take the antibiotic for his pneumonia and now I needed to convince Robert to move to a respiratory isolation room while they did more tests. He didn't even believe he had pneumonia and insisted he was completely healthy, demanding to leave the hospital. We did not want to sedate him again, as that is very counterproductive to his recovery from the brain injury and traumatizing as well; and I couldn't imagine letting him walk in his condition with pneumonia and possibly TB to boot. Some how though, much to my surprise and great relief, one of the doctors and I finally got through to Robert last night and he took his antibiotics and was willing to move to respiratory isolation while they ran more tests. I left the hospital again exhausted and sleep deprived at about 2 am when Robert finally fell asleep in his new room.

Today, Robert was much improved and more relaxed. It seems he is improving daily, which may have as much to do with getting all the intense drugs out of his system as it does recovering from his brain injury. Fortunately the second round of TB tests came back negative tonight and Robert was released from respiratory isolation. The plan has been for Robert to go on Monday, if he had made enough progress, to live in Bozeman, MT at the Sat Loka ashram with our friend Purna Steinitz and the community members there ... an ideal place for Robert's continued recovery. The TB scare almost put this on hold for quite some time. We are back on track though, and I am actually taking Robert out of the hospital tomorrow morning. Robert will stay with me in a hotel or with friends here in Boulder the next two nights before leaving for Montana with me on Monday.

I have been very disappointed in the Mapleton Rehab program. Other than the fact that I agree with their approach of getting him off all the drugs the doctors were giving him in Peru to control his behavior, I don't see that they have done much for him here at all. I liked the doctor, but she sees him 10 minutes a day. Some of the nursing staff on the unit appeared to have some experience working with brain injury patients, but most were completely inexperienced. He was getting about three hours of mediocre quality physical, speech, and occupational therapy a day and just left to hang out in his room the rest of the day. This was certainly not worth $1,400 a day (the discounted price I got by paying cash in advance -- normally $2000 a day). And that doesn't include the doctor's fees that we'll be billed for later. I would have been just as well off to rent a hotel suite and take care of Robert myself. Live and learn.

I think we will have a much better set of rehab services set up for Robert in Bozeman, from talking to the professionals we have lined up there. At the very least, he will be living in a very positive and nurturing environment with great people who care about him. Anyway, I am very eager to get Robert out of the hospital tomorrow and put that part of the medical system behind us.

In terms of Robert's current progress, using the Rancho Los Amigos scale of cognitive functionality, Robert shifts from level IV to level VII depending on whether he is rested and relaxed or tired and agitated. Level I is the lowest level of functionality and Level X is normal. Robert may even be at Level VIII at times. The main thing he is lacking is awareness or insight into his own condition, which is very common with head injuries. This however makes treatment and rehab a challenge as you find yourself constantly negotiating with a person who doesn't think they need any treatment or rehab. Robert does have glimpse of insight into his condition though and the doctor's feel this will continually grow over time, until he fully realized his condition and can willingly participate in completing the work of his rehab and recovery.

I'll write another post once we get Robert settled in at the ashram outside of Bozeman on Monday and I return to Boulder on Tuesday.

Lola and I want to continue to express our most profound appreciation to all of you who have supported Robert and us with so much kindness and generosity.

Love and blessings,
Fleet and Lola

Monday, April 14, 2008

Robert's Expenses & Fundraising Update

As of today, Robert's overall expenses with the travel and everything have reached approximately $50,000. The amazing kindness and generosity from so many wonderful friends, family and sangha has raised approximately $22,500 for Robert's medical fund. I have put the remaining $27,500 on credit cards. At the BCH Mapleton Center Robert expenses will run somewhere between $2000 and $2500 a day. We are not sure how long Robert will be on inpatient status, but I can't imagine it will be less than 10 days. Now that Robert is here in the states, we will put in his applications for SSI and Medicaid, but these will be very difficult to get, if possible at all. We are moving forward with getting Robert the care he needs though, trusting that somehow this will all work out. Lola and I cannot begin to appropriately thank all of you or find the words to express the profound gratitude we feel for all the love and support coming our way from so many wonderful people. Thank you, thank you, thank you and many, many blessings,
Fleet, Lola and Robert

Robert is back in Boulder!

Robert and I safely arrived back in Boulder today after a fairly harrowing journey. We were accompanied by a wonderful Paramedic based in Houston named Joe Barnes. I am so glad I decided to bring Joe along. He was indispensable and accompanied us all the way to the the hospital in Boulder before returning to Houston. Robert was admitted today into the Mapleton Center inpatient rehab program at the Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) on Broadway and Balsam. They recently moved the inpatient rehab program from the Mapleton Center at 4th and Mapleton to the main hospital on Broadway. It was a difficult trip with Robert on drugs that both sedated him and left him very agitated and jumpy and even hallucinating at times. I'm not sure how the clinic in Lima felt this was the best combination of drugs.

It was quite an adventure getting through the very complicated and crowded airline check-in, airport tax payment, and immigration processes at the Lima airport. Having Robert in a wheelchair helped a lot, although it was quite a task to keep him in the wheelchair and not over stimulated as we went through all this. The six hour 15 minute flight, 12 midnight to 6:15 am was very difficult. The plane was packed. Robert, who's a big guy, couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep even though he was tired and sedated, so this left him agitated and wanting to get up all night. Suffice it to say I didn't sleep. We couldn't get Robert to take any more medication until shortly before arriving in Houston. Getting through immigration and customs in Houston was another adventure, somewhat facilitated by wheelchair transport.

Robert was calmer and slept most of the 2 hour flight from Houston to Denver. He seemed even more relaxed on the drive to Boulder from the Denver airport. Nonetheless, upon arriving at the 4th floor rehab center at BCH, Robert decided he didn't want to be there and fairly loud pitched battle of wills ensued for 5 hours with Robert, I and the hospital staff all involved until Robert finally fell asleep around 4 pm. Having not slept in over 30 hours, it took everything I had to hang in there with it. Robert was calmer tonight after sleeping a couple of hours, but still not happy about being in the hospital.

I am very relieved though to have Robert at a facility where I know they will get him on the right program for his recovery and rehab. At the Mapleton Rehab Center they are committed to getting him off all the powerful sedative and psychoative drugs they had Robert on in Peru and supporting his recovery through effective rehab. At this point, we don't know how much of Robert's challenging behavior is related to his brain injury and how much is the result of the powerful drugs they have had him on in Peru. Robert's doctor at BCH is Dr. Julie Stapleton. She has headed up the rehab program their for over 20 years and has really good reputation nationally. I met her for the first time today and felt very comfortable with her.
Many thanks again from Lola, Robert and I to all of your for your amazing support, kindness and love,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Latest on Robert

This has been a tough week for Robert. He doesn't want to take the medications they are giving him at the clinic in Lima. He feels they are making him sick and he's probably right. Evidently they forcibly medicated him on Tuesday, holding him down for an injection. I can only imagine how violated and traumatized he feels by all of this on top of everything else. They are treating him with tranquilizers, anti-psychotic drugs, etc. down there because they don't know another way to work with him. He doesn't understand why he needs any meds. I'm not sure how much insight he has into his situation and brain injury challenges and related behaviors. The good news is that he has been clearer on the phone every time I have spoken with him this week. I encouraged him to try to accept the situations as best he can for the next few days until I can get him out of there. He was more relaxed today. I am flying to Peru on Saturday and will hopefully return with Robert on Monday morning to Boulder, Colorado, where Robert will enter the Mapleton Rehabilitation Center, an excellent facility for brain injury treatment and rehab. Please keep us in your practice and prayers for a successful and safe journey.