Friends are preparing to celebrate the life of a gay Houston man who died recently, weeks after a freak accident during Pride weekend that left him with a broken neck.
Robert Fulton, 33, died on July 26 – a day shy of his 34th birthday – from complications related to injuries he suffered when he dove headfirst into the shallow end of the pool at Club Houston, a gay bathhouse on Fannin. The incident took place on June 27 as gay Houston celebrated Pride.
Fulton was injured about 3:30 a.m. after diving into the pool where it's less than four feet deep, witnesses told Houston police. At least two other men, one of which who knew Fulton, were in the pool when he dove in.
“Once he had done so, the two witnesses realized that something was wrong and that he was unresponsive,” according to Houston police spokesperson Kese Smith.
So the men pulled Fulton from the pool, called 9-1-1 and one of them performed CPR until paramedics arrived, Smith said. The club remained open but the pool and adjoining shower area were closed while emergency personnel responded and police investigated the incident.
Fulton, who suffered a broken neck, was transported to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. He died about four weeks later – on July 26 – from “complications of cervical spine fractures due to blunt trauma,” according to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.
The medical examiner ruled Fulton's death an accident. Houston police are also treating his death as accidental, Smith said.
“At this point, there are no signs of foul play whatsoever based on what we had from witnesses. It appears to be an accident,” he said.
Fulton was a radiology tech at East Houston Regional Medical Center and lived in Seabrook. He was a Louisiana native and graduated from an Elton, La., high school in 1999.
“Robert enjoyed being around family and friends,” according to his obituary. “Robert loved having fun, he was a very compassionate and giving person. Robert was loved by many and will be greatly missed.”
Fulton's funeral service was held on Aug. 4 at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings, La.
On Sunday, friends will host a Celebration of Life and Benefit at Maribelle's in Seabrook. The event, which includes food, raffle and silent auction, will raise funds to help pay for Fulton's medical expenses.
It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our beloved Robert. A celebration of life and benefit will be held on Sunday, August 16th at 2 pm. We hope all of you will join us as all proceeds will be directed to the family to help with medical expenses. His laugh and smile and twerk will be in our hearts forever. He was loved by so many. Until we meet again….
Fulton's Facebook page was memorialized in the wake of his death as friends have shared their memories, thoughts and photos.