My name is Robert R. Eaton II. I am a twenty five year old
student, band director and musician. I live in San Marcos,
Texas. On April 20, 2006 I underwent brain surgery for a congenital
condition. There were complications with the surgery that
left me completely paralyzed on my right side. To this day
no one can explain what caused this to occur.
I spent one week in ICU, one week in the regular hospital,
four months in a live in rehabilitation hospital, and three
and one half months in a day rehabilitation day program. During
this time I slowly began to regain use of my right hand. I
still have no use of my right leg. I returned to live with
my mother after my hospitalization. I was unable, at that
time to take care of myself, every thing I needed or did required
assistance. While in day therapy my physical therapist decided
that a brace (hip, knee, ankle, foot orthotic) might be beneficial
in assisting me to stand, After much hard work on my stamina
the brace worked well, allowing me to stand and walk short
distances. Since rehab I have returned to teaching music.
I was able to return to college at Texas State University,
where I am pursuing my Bachelors of Music in Education
and Teaching Certification (all levels), after getting a power chair and having my vehicle modified. In September,
2006, I moved back into my on place, discovering how much
independence I still lacked. At home I am able to do some
walking as long as I have my brace on. I generally do not
walk in public for safety purposes unless it is very small
distances. I need help with laundry, general housecleaning,
grocery shopping, and PICKING UP things that I drop, etc.
While in the Rehab Hospital I met a person who had a service
dog. We spoke extensively about the pros and cons of owning
a dog. I have come to realize that a service dog would help
me achieve the independence I aspire .
On April 17, 2007, Allie and Nate came to see me in San Marcos;
we had a great time! We started the day out by going to Jasons
Deli. Nate enjoyed getting out of the track and watching us
eat. We then went to school where I teach ;Nate watched me
teach the drummers how to stay on beat with eager intent to
When I went up to the front of the class to conduct a couple
of songs, I forgot to take Nate. After a minute or two I look
back to see Nate grabbing his leash to accompany me at the
front. After school we taught a tenor saxophone lesson and
Nate seemed to enjoy that , but it was followed by a Soprano
Saxophone lesson witch he (and I) did not enjoy so much. That evening Allie, Nate and I met my mom and went to
Mamacitas Restaurant were Nate fell fast asleep while the rest of us enjoyed our
dinner. All through the day and evening Nate looked to Allie
making sure it was OK to help me. By the end of the evening
Nate and I took Allie to my aunts house to spend the
night and we went back to my house to bond. After Nate and
I got comfortable watching TV my Phone rang falling off the
night stand and onto the floor. Without hesitation Nate jumped
down and got my phone and handed it to me. When we woke up
the next morning Nate watched me get dressed helping me when
my clothes were out of reach . After his breakfast we went
to my truck when I dropped my key. Again without hesitation
he picked it up and handed it to me.
After Picking up Allie from my aunts house we went to
the college I attend to show Nate and Allie. Upon arriving
back to the school that I teach we stopped for a photo op.
in front of the school entrance. Then it was off to class.
We got Nate some cotton balls to put in his ears to prevent
any long term damage that might occur from the loud noises
that middle schoolers call music. It was a little more difficult
to get him to respond because I did not know all the hand
signals, but as soon as I learned them we were cool. After
going through class we had some very special visitors that
spoke to my previous students while Allie and the student's
Mom started a conversation. When that was done it was to the
cafeteria to have lunch with Dr. Hiebert and Dr. Munson. Walking
to the cafeteria all you hear were look at the big black
dog, or thats a big dog, cool. After
lunch it was unfortunately time to go back to the airport.
I had a great time with Nate and Allie and cant wait
for them to come back.