Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Update: 9:00pm on 2/9

The big brother gets to share today's update, and we have some great news indeed. Today was busy; speech therapy, occupational/physical therapy, and his therapuetic recreation included a visit from Rommel, a massive Rottweiler therapy dog! Forrest was very interested in him and with some assistance, Forrest gave him treats, threw a ball, and scratched him all over. During the visit Forrest gave Rommel a small smile, as you'll see in the picture below. Forrest may have saved his first smile for Rommel, but he gave his first grin to me and "Mum," as Forrest calls Mom. After the therapy dog session Forrest broke into a large grin and kept it going as we all smiled excitedly back at him. We were too caught up in the moment to get it on the camera so you'll have to wait till next time.

He also followed commands much better today. He gave a small affirmative nod when asked if his name was Forrest. He also put one finger up when asked. After he grinned I asked him to give me a thumbs up which he did and then followed it with a fist bump. He's coming back slowly but surely!
His lungs are doing better than yesterday, but he still has a lot of mucous he is fighting. We're waiting for the antibiotics to take effect. No fever. His pain meds were decreased today, which is allowing him to be more awake during his sessions but is also making him more agitated when he is bored in bed. He's learned how to change the channel, so he flips between cartoons and basketball, things he didn't watch much before... maybe he's developing new cinematic tastes. We were flipping through channels today when the epic Rocky running scene came on, which immediately caught his attention. He'll be making a Rocky comeback in no time.

Thanks for all the support!

Austin and Team Forrest

Forrest responding to questions

Forrest smiling with Rommel


  1. Joyce & Wilbur EllisFebruary 9, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Hi Forrest, It's good to see that smile blossom while you were petting Rommel. He looks like a beautiful dog! Keep up the good work! Joyce

  2. Oh how wonderful to hear this news! What a GREAT day for Forrest! Day to day he is making HUGE progress! You all have truly turned a corner and healing is coming fast! We couldn't be more pleased for all of you! Your dad has supported us during some of our most difficult days and we want to return that energy tenfold to Forrest!
    I can see Forrest on a horse, recieving the healing gifts that horses provide, particularly to those with TBI, and I think it could happen very soon! That is my own personal wish but then I am slightly biased...
    Thank you, Austin, for a wonderfully uplifting report! Give Your Little Brother A Big Hug from all of us at Maryland Therapeutic Riding!

  3. What great news! The progress is amazing-we know you'll be back soon, Forrest.

    Love, Jim and Gail

  4. Austin thank you for the wonderful post!
    What wonderful news: smiles and channel flipping, Forrest has come so far! The magic of dogs, Forrest looks so relaxed while petting Rommel!

    Best wishes,
    Fraley Coles

  5. Great day! Funny that you mentioned the theme from ROCKY because I was thinking that same thing yesterday when I read of his pulling up his knee with his hands. It's a perfect theme for Forrest.

  6. Austin, Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I've read it five times and want to read it again! It's such great news and I can't help but smile. It's not surprising that Rommel got the first glimmer of a smile or that mum (and you of course, Austin) got the first full grin! Oh my goodness, I can't imagine how that felt.

    Please know that we continue to pray for each of you - especially for Forrest's healing and all those who provide care for Forrest. Sending much love to each of you...

    Donna, Owen, Chloe, Lilli & Rich.

  7. This is incredible news!! I read Forrest's blog every night and am sooo glad to hear he is making a come back :) Smiles and all!

    Krysta Walker

  8. Everyone was so excited at church tonight when they heard of this progress. You will just have to come and meet all of these people some day because they sure want to meet you! Keep up the good work....everyone! Thanks Forrest for giving US big smiles today. Aunt Lynn

  9. Great news! What a difference a couple weeks makes. I have been thinking about you and look forward to hearing more good news.

  10. Great to see you smiling, Forrest! Keep going!
    With love,
    Dan Miller

  11. Yay Forrest! We KNEW you could do it! We thought you were gonna save the smile for Mum's bird-day, but you must have something else up your sleeve...

    We love and miss you!

    Jack and Carmen

  12. Super good news!!!
    Good job Forrest!
    James was right, he said he will get there sooner than we all think bec he is young and healthy kid.

    Love you guys!

    Hazel and James

  13. Yea! Fantastic progress Forrest! We are all pulling for you. One day at a time.

    Thanks for the update Austin - you are an awesome brother, Forrest is so lucky to have your support.
    You all hang in there... xo,Laurie

  14. Hooray! This is all so exciting! It's so wonderful to read about your amazing progress from day to day! My boys ask me every day for updates and it's so exciting to share with them all that you have accomplished! Forrest, we are truly amazed at your resilience and determination - keep it up - you're in great hands - and in all of our hearts! Love, Karen, Joseph, Jordan, Brandon, and Coleman Rafferty

  15. Forrest
    We are smiling with you today! If you continue with your new found passion for basketball you can count on seeing some games with Brian! College basketball is his favorite sports.
    Keep up the good work Forrest and Team!
    The Selfes

  16. Keep up the fight Forrest....I continue to read your blog every morning to start my day! You truly are an inspiration! Keep going....

  17. We've been waiting for and are just thrilled that your beautiful smile, Forrest, is once again a part of this world! Your daily progress is simply amazing. I (Lisa) was so fortunate to run into your dad last night and so happy to be able to give him a big hug - from all of us to all of you - to take back with him to Atlanta this weekend! You are certainly moving down your path carefully - as in both gently and full of great care - and swiftly. We are so glad. We're with each of you in spirit and send our love, The Shermans

  18. Well, bud, you are just going great guns down there! Not surprising that the pup brought out a smile, but I know your mom and Austin were thrilled to get the next ones. We can't wait to see those grins back here! It looks like you guys will be getting some spring-like weather down there this week- it's still pretty chilly here at home. Sundance is up here at the clinic with us this week, he says hello, and would share some yellow hair with you if he could. (Opie is even getting sort of used to him, so that's nice.) JP and I are working on a little surprise for you, so stay tuned...!
    Love you lots, 44, and as much as we miss you, I know you are doing such hard and good work at Shepherd... we are so proud of you, proud of your mom, dad, Austin, Trish, John, Lynn... and can't wait for you all to come home.