Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update: 10:30pm on 1/25

Forrest has had a day full of challenges and bits of progress and hope. He is fighting his bronchitis/pneumonia and sometimes the coughing caused by suctioning the mucus out sends him into a full blown storm. He is still not awake but shows the occasional sign of purposeful arm and leg movement which the doctors assure us means the wiring is intact. They tell us that he is making good progress for only being off the drugs for a very short period of time (today). They have him on oral pain relief and other drugs to help him with his agitation and stimulate wakefulness. He is now sitting up once a day and doing physical therapy. Today that set him off into a series of storms that lasted for an hour or two. While the storms are hard to watch the staff assures us they will pass and they are trying to come up with a combination to help control them. Reading the blogs and cards and telling him how much people miss him does seem to calm him somewhat. We see him trying to focus eyes and squeeze our hand on occasion but then the storm takes him and he's gone.The storming activity is him trying to reboot the injured brain and make his muscles do what he wants them to do. We know he is trying hard to get to us in there but between the drugs and the storms it is hard for him. We have one of our favorite doctors (one out of many of the amazing staff here) that stopped by just to chat with us about him and assured us he is making good progress. We were so excited we went and had dinner at Mellow Mushroom nearby and the waitress told us a amazing story of brain injury recovery from a friend of hers. We shared his blog with her and left with her wishing us the best. The kindness of friends, family and strangers continues to amaze us.The anomymous stranger who read our blog and brought us a pie dropped off at the hotel. A veterinary friend who I haven't seen in years who came and found me in the hospital (hard to do) and told me to hold on to hope. So many wonderful family, friends, clients, business associates that have emailed texted and blogged to help us with God's and the doctors help give him every chance to heal and come back.

Thank you so much for those of you who donated to the UVA Neuroscience Center, they emailed us today to tell us that they recieved a number of donations in Forrest's name today He would be so proud hisand our friends are helping with this critical research and helping other people in his situation. The addresses are on the right side of the blog, right by the song Good Vibrations by the Dolphin Quest crew (backup vocals by the dolphins and orchestrated by maestro Jason Price). He listens to it every morning.

"Once you choose hope, anything is possible" Christopher Reeve

"Hope is like a road in the country; there never was a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence" Lin Yutang

Thanks again for all of you giving Forrest and us HOPE.We were deeply touched and inspired by the prayer gathering held at Trinity Church last night for our Forrest. We've received amazing pictures from several attendees, the guest book and personal notes organized by Gail Wofford and today Nadia and Susanne hand delivered a CD of the service (along with homemade banana bread and more provisions from home). Friends and family members who couldn't attend offered prayers and lit candles for Forrest in Bangkok, France, Berlin, Bermuda, Hawaii, and at least a dozen different states……..

Kent, Rae, Austin and Aunt Tricia

The prayer service in Upperville

The four of us with Forrest during the prayer service

Stuart Weinstein-Bacal placing 99 coins and saying a
prayer at the Temple of the Reclining Buddah in Thailand


  1. There is a wonderful book out there which helped me through a lot of hard times. I'm sure most have read it, or heard of it, it's called The Secret. It's the power of this handy little thing called "The Law of Attraction". The basics of it are what you put out into the universe will come back to you. Scientifically, emotionally and spiritually, myself and thousands of others have been able to see the benefits of this kind of thought process. Forrest, there are SO many people out there that are praying, sending good vibrations, positive thoughts and limitless love for you that this law of attraction will definitely come through. All of these people, by collective thought, are literally thrusting the message "Forrest will come through this strong, healthy and well" into the universe that...of course...it HAS to come back to you. It's the Law of Attraction. You are the attraction, we are all simply throwing these prayers and hopes towards you. You are the magnet. You are surrounded by love and kindness from all stretches of this vast Earth. Hang in there buddy, it is only a matter of time before the universe will deliver you back to your family and friends. Until then, rest assured that you are being very well taken care of.

    Aloha Forrest.

  2. Forrest, Rae, Kent and Austin,
    We have been reading the blog every day following your progress and have been hoping and preying that your recovery will be quick. You all have been so strong and positive and are an insperation to us all. We are directing all our thoughts and preyers to you all.
    Chris, Donna and Ashley.

  3. I am so glad to hear Forrest is making great progress! My family and friends are keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers! I knew Forrest when he was a young boy and I could have told you then that there was something very special about him. Forrest always amazed me with his upbeat attitude and kindness. I read through the posts and it brings tears to my eyes to see how many lives Forrest has touch at such a young age, I can only hope my son who is 11 weeks old can touch half of the lives that Forrest has touched! Thanks for keeping us posted on Forrest's progress.


    Sara Davis Miller & Porter

  4. Forrest,
    You would have been so happy to have been at the Prayer Service on Monday night. There were so many of us there sending you love and prayers for a full recovery. I was amazed at the outpouring of support.
    When I was there I remembered something that happened late one afternoon last fall. You came back to grab your bookbag, and you saw Sonny, our cleaner, heading toward the senior lounge to clean it. You stopped, looked back at the lounge to see what kind of shape it was in, and then you apologized to Sonny for the fact that it was pretty messy that day. I don't know what you said next, but I know you made Sonny laugh.
    I hope you'll be up to sharing jokes and laughs with all of us soon,
    Cassin Bertke

  5. Hello to the Stone Allen clan.
    We have been reading daily updates about Forrest and while we do not know him personally (clients of Kent/Susan), there is no doubt he will pull through this! Based on the stories of his kindness tenacity and fun loving spirit he will be back in full swing before you know it! Take good care of each other and know you have an abundance of love and support from family, friends and strangers alike! God bless all of you and especially Forrest. You are in our hearts and prayers. Love from North Carolina!!

  6. Hello Forrest,
    I have not had the pleasure of meeting you, but I met your brother Austin several years ago when he was eventing and I knew your father in the early 1960's in Columbia, MO when he was the little boy constantly playing on his swing set across the street. We loved to spend time playing at the Allen's back then, we thought they were the greatest family ever. I guess we knew your grandfather was a Vet, but we thought of him as a cowboy. My brother remembers walking to school everyday with your Aunt Lynn, he still recalls her as the prettiest girl at Russell Blvd. School.
    So fast forward about 40 years and imagine my surprise when I realized the famous Dr. Allen upon whom my daughter has come to rely for both his knowledge and his compassion is the little boy from that swing set.
    Those of us who know you through your family know that you are very fortunate because we know that they are extraordinary and they can lift and sustain you through this crisis. I know their goodness is not only long lasting but far reaching because I shared your story and your blog with my family and you now have the "kids" from across the street supporting you from Puget Sound to St. Petersburg, Russia and a couple of points in between. We have added our candles to theirs to help light your way home.

    Martha Cottrell Coombs
    Raft Island, Washington

  7. Hi Forrest,
    You don’t know me, we’ve never met. But I am part of that large Hill School Community we all grew up with – I was class of ’86. Our parents know one another through the eventing world – Jim and Gail Wofford. I was unable to attend your prayer service Monday evening as I was tucking my two sons (Lewis (7) and Theo(4.5) ) into bed and I didn’t have a candle to light, but paused at 6:00 pm to send all my positive energy to you and your family. I just wanted to let you know that I think about your throughout every day and pray for your quick recovery. From what I have read you have an amazing family and support system and know that you are a true fighter. Stay strong.
    With Love and Hope,
    Jennifer Ince

  8. Hi Forrest, It is so upsetting to see a picture of you in the hospital bed because i know that you are a go-getter and that more than anything, you would love to be skiing the powder today. It snowed all over campus, and we are all thinking about you non-stop. Graduation is coming up--and we need you there. We have missed you so much during our senior year, and so much more now that we cant talk to you. I hope you have a quick recovery and get better soon so we can catch you up on everything! Hang in there forrest. Remember when people would ask which one person defined our class, and the unanimous answer was "Forrest, no doubt." haha, i miss that.
    Love you, stay safe
    xoxo, Liza R

  9. Forrest, it was SRO (Standing Room Only) at the church service for you last night. A testament to how many are pulling for you. I don't think they have that good of a turnout at Sunday service!

    I remember you as an adorable, charismatic, freckled face youngster full of energy and spirit that I met 10 years ago. Now I look at your photos and I am simply amazed at what a young man you have grown to be. I know that same energy and spirit will come from within to pull you through this. I doubt you will be able to read my chicken scratch in your visitors book from the prayer service, but it simply reads:

    "Keep faith and hope alive in your heart".

    With both these, Forrest, there are no boundaries. Along with that spirit and energy, the bonds of love from family and friends will aid in your recovery and give you the strength to meet whatever challenges are asked of you.

    God bless and get well.
    Charlie Ruppert