Frank Muller Update—July, 2002

Frank Muller is known to many as the voice on the Left Behind audio books (through Desecration). On November 5, 2001 Frank was badly injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in California. He faces a very long recovery. Frank's brother Leo provides periodic updates, which we excerpt and present here to keep the Left Behind community up-to-date and to remind you all of the need for continued prayers for Frank, his wife Erika, their children (Diana and a boy due in mid-July), their families and friends.

Since Frank was unable to read The Remnant, you will hear the voice of Jack Sondericker, a retired Baptist minister, who has recorded about 60 books for Books in Motion.

If you wish to send Frank a note or help support him through the Wavedancer Foundation, please use the Recorded Books, Inc. web site, which has additional information and links.

June update from Leo Muller:

Dear Friends of Frank:

Frank continues to progress well medically in his rehab process at Casa Colina. In early June he was transferred to the Transitional Living Center (TLC) on the same campus. In a June 20, 2002 review meeting with the new medical and rehab team that works with Frank (I participated by phone), a theme emerged from reports of the various therapists and doctors that recently evaluated him: Frank can do more than he thinks he can.

When he asks for help with certain tasks, and the staff encourages him to do them himself, he usually succeeds. He doesn't seem to retain this awareness, however, and needs to be reminded on a consistent basis. As a result, he is hesitant to explore movement on his own.

The review meeting served to confirm this experience by several team members, so the team agreed to be more deliberate in their efforts to reinforce his awareness of his increasing abilities and encourage his initiative in the rehab process.

Frank has twice walked 100 feet with a walker, with one person assisting him at his side and another guiding the walker. He can propel himself forward in his wheelchair with his legs, having gone 50 feet in a straight line by himself. His endurance is up significantly (he is in therapy six hours a day). In mid-June he participated in a 30-minute group session with other patients who were saying goodbye to two departing peers. Frank was engaged with the event and included his own goodbyes to these people.

He still legitimately needs lots of assistance with eating, dressing, transferring between the bed and wheelchair, etc. He continues to have vision problems; his depth perception is off, with him often over-reaching for objects, and he is unable to distinguish two fingers from one. He continues to experience short-term memory problems. He has trouble with left/right distinction, and he is not well oriented to time.

His reading ability is still severely impaired at this point. His speech intelligibility is improving, and has good potential, although he needs lots of prompting. The staff is drawing on his prior narration expertise to encourage his progress in this area. They play his narration tapes for him, and ask him about them to prompt his memory and encourage his technique.

Frank continues to become agitated when overwhelmed, disoriented or in a noisy environment (who doesn't?), and often responds loudly to these episodes (who wouldn't?), so the staff is encouraging him to ask for help, and moves him to a quieter place and talks calmly and clearly to him, which helps (might try that myself!).

Frank's right wrist will be x-rayed soon to determine the next steps there (you may recall the earlier pin placed in his reset wrist, which he promptly bent), and his eye damage and vision will be evaluated as soon as he is determined to be more mobile, since this will require an off-site doctor visit.

Well, his mobility is improving—last week he was invited to join several other patients who were going out for ice cream, so the staff put him in a wheelchair and then in a van, and drove him and the others to the local Baskin & Robbins 31 Flavors, where Frank patiently listened to all 31 options and chose his long-time favorite—French Vanilla! They were there about 90 minutes and returned with full bellies and without incident.

This was Frank's first time out of the hospital since November 5th, except when he was transferred from Antelope Valley General to Casa Colina. Erika was elated to hear of this, and only a little jealous that she and Diana weren't there to join them!

Speaking of Erika and Diana, they are completely moved into the new house, and the old one has sold, so this will greatly improve the financial picture for them, especially with the continuing support from the Wavedancer Foundation and others of you who have given so generously of your financial and other resources. Of course, the prospects for earned income still appear dim and remain unknown, but each positive step in this area is tightly embraced.

The baby is due in just a few weeks, and Erika is resting more as she prepares for the big day, and as she carries the jumbo inner boy-child. I'll send a short notice upon the baby's arrival, so you will have an opportunity to respond to Frank and Erika if you wish.

Until then,

Leo Muller