Thanks for the wonderful feedback, messages and updates from friends and family! As always this daily interaction is a huge help to Forrest and his Team. You help keep us charged up and connected to all the folks we are missing!
As Forrest continues to make such remarkable progress here at Shepherd, we have made the difficult decision to remain in Atlanta for Forrest's first leg of outpatient therapy. We have toured the facility that houses Shepherd's outpatient program, Pathways, and are impressed and inspired by their Adolescent Outpatient program. As excited as we are to get started on this next stage of his recovery, we are sad to remain separated from Forrest's and our friends, home, and the farm, and we hate to miss Springtime in the Virginia countryside! But the first 6 months of recovery following a severe brain injury are the most critical and we are certain this is the very best place for us to be for the next 2-3 months.
Currently we are still in the ABI Unit and are blessed to be surrounded by Shepherd's team of talented and caring professionals. Their dedication and passion for their patients are incredibly inspiring. They have given us hope and courage and a sense of pure joy as Forrest responds each day to their love and encouragement. Below is a collage of just a fraction of the team who is working literally around the clock to support Forrest's recovery and return to Middleburg. We are truly grateful to those who have donated in Forrest's honor to the UVA TBI research efforts.(thank you notes ARE on my long to do list!) As friends and family continue to ask what they can do to help, we asked Shepherd for information about their Foundation. The following information has been provided by the Executive Director of the Shepherd Center Foundation.
Shepherd Center operates the only adolescent program of its kind. Early specialized treatment often translates into earlier recoveries. Shepherd treats young people from across the country and around the world from ages 12-19 with brain injury and/or spinal cord injury. Schoolwork is a top priority for teens at Shepherd---while patients are here, tutors help students prepare to re-enter classes in step with their classmates. And prior to re-entry, Shepherd sends a representative (to serve as his "bridge") to meet with student groups back home to let classmates know what to expect when their injured friend returns to school. While all patients benefit from over 20 donor-funded programs, up to one-third of adolescent patients may be in "scholarship" beds. The Adolescent Program provides therapeutic recreational activities such as animal-assisted therapy, basketball, boating, camping, swimming, SCUBA, shooting, and many other sports. These crucial programs are fully funded by gifts. In addition, the Adolescent Program patients practice reconnecting with the outside world through supervised outings around Atlanta to sporting events, shopping, movies, and more typical teenager activities. Shepherd Center also operates the Virginia Crawford Research Center where the latest brain injury and spinal cord injury research is translated into patient care and rehabilitation.
If you would like more information or would like to make a donation to Shepherd in Forrest's honor, your gifts will help ABI patients who are underfunded or unfunded by private insurance or governmental programs.
With love and gratitude,
Mum and Team Forrest
Assorted Photos of his Team at Shepherd Center: