Thursday, March 31, 2011

Update: 3:45pm on 3/31

Forrest has just been blessed with a reprieve from imminent surgery.  He was on the  surgical schedule today to have his prosthetic skull flap removed and was given one last opportunity to weigh in on this agonizing decision. The doctors lightened his sedation and pain medicine to see if he would show any signs of responsiveness.  With much urging, he was unable to raise one finger or thumb, but he was able to wiggle his toes. This is the first response he has shown since Monday. When he began to "buck" or resist the ventilator,  I was standing by his side and saw a tear course down the side of his face. I leaned in closer, kissed the salty tear away and told him to look at me.  For the briefest moment we made eye contact.  I know with all my mother's heart that he is still there and that he knows we are by his side.

Due to the risk involved of multiple surgeries on his already compromised condition, the doctors don't want to go to surgery as long as he is making even the slightest progress each day. The plan now is to maintain him in neurosurgical ICU at Emory University Hospital, under heavy sedation and on the ventilator, in order to let his brain heal and his condition stabilize. He is connected to a room full of monitors and life support equipment and we have a little alcove connected to his room where at least one of us is always present. Each day they will lighten the sedation enough to evaluate his neurological status and his level of awareness. When he shows signs of waking up and is strong enough to breathe on his own, they will begin to wean him off of the ventilator. If at any point his condition starts to deteriorate again, Emory has the ability to rally the surgical team to take him into surgery quickly. We are hoping and praying that won't be necessary. 

We are so grateful for the gift of your collective prayer and positive visioning. Coupled with Forrest's indomitable spirit and the best medical and nursing care we can provide, we will navigate this detour and get him back on course. He has worked so hard and cleared so many seemingly impossible obstacles with grace and dignity beyond his years. He found his way back to us from his first coma. With the love and support of an ever enlarging community of family and friends, he will do it again. And we will do whatever it takes… for as long as it takes to bring him home.

With love,
Mum and Team Forrest

Quote of the day: "Once you choose hope, anything is possible."  Christopher Reeves


  1. This will be one small 'blip' in the scheme of the grand life Forrest will lead. A moment in time that will fade into the cracks when Forrest looks at his remarkable life, his all giving and loving family, and all those whose lives he's touched, knowlingly or not. The Lord doesn't give us anything we can't handle. Keep up the strength Forrest...we ALL have hope and are continully sending you healing prayers.
    anne marstiller

  2. The positive energy from Ohio is still flowing!

  3. The Wofford family sends their positive energy, love, thoughts and prayers to Forrest. We think of you 24/7. We pray for your strength.


  4. This is GOOD and HOPEFUL news. I am so thankful to read of a surgical stay.

    We eagerly await updates of continued progress.

    Rae, your posts always tug the heart. You are an AWESOME mother.

    Love from all the Davis'. XO

  5. To Forrest and his family,
    Keep on believing and all of us will keep on hoping and praying right along with you. We all know that if he had the strength one time to make it back he will find it again. Love conquers all foes
    Take care
    Paula Horne

  6. Kick on Team Forrest...remember, to get over that huge, four foot stone wall you have to look over the fence, not at it or at the base of it! Your family has demonstrated if anyone is capable of making that jump going up hill it is you! My family's thoughts and prayers are with you hourly.

  7. Forrest I'm so glad to hear that you are improving! It was a toe wiggle today and tomorrow I know it will be something else. Rae I know Forrest depends on you so much and you are his rock. Hands down you are one of the best mothers I know and I am a little envious of how great you are! The whole family is praying for you and just today a guy came by the house and heard me reading the blog to grandpa and he doesn't know you guys personally but he has heard about this and wanted you to know he is also praying.
    -love from Montana, Lynwood and Irene

  8. Yes! So very glad to hear this. And we're all choosing hope!

  9. Guys

    We cant begin to fathom the swing of emotion over the past week. Forrest was progressing at such an amazing pace and now you are taking not one, but several steps back. You (Team 44) have gone from the adjustment of outpatient treatment on his cognitive recovery back to the phase of survival. Who would have believed that something as exciting and positive as his new lid would have landed him in Neuro ICU and struggling once again for consciousness.

    The fight has been long and has been fierce. In the course of the battle, you have gained so much ground. You have gained this ground with much effort and sacrifice. You have gained it also with love and unity. You have remained a team and you have stood back to back in the midst of the battle and have covered one another. If ever i was in a fight, i would want all of you in my foxhole.

    The enemy has struck back with a desperate counter attack. While you are weary from the battles fought, you are still girded for battle. Remember that you still have each other's back and remember we are all here to support in any way that helps. We know that you will emerge from this battle once again victorious!!

    Fight the Fight!!

    Love the Selfes

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  11. Forrest, the Morency's are relieved you avoided today's surgery and hope your signs of improvement indicate you are recovering from this setback. We are sad all of you are being tested so thoroughly. The fortitude, courage and resilience with which Team 44 faces each day is extraordinary. Love from all of us, Jeanne

  12. You are an amazing family. I am not sure what else to say, other than that I am inspired by your strength and love,and I am thinking of you and trying my best to send you positive energy.

  13. Hi Forrest!
    Last year this time you managing the silent auction items for the Orange County Hunt Barn Dinner and Dance Fundraiser. We will give you a pass this year, but we need you back next year to help again. Kick on and know that we are all kicking on right beside you. Love from the Brevnovs (Gretchen, Boris, Gyorgy and Anatoly)

  14. Forrest, Rae, Austin, and Kent,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you every day! With Forrest's strength and the love of your entire family (and so many friends)this "one step back" will be followed by many steps back to home in Virginia!

  15. How wonderful that he didn't have to undergo that surgery today!!! I am SO thankful!!

    God Bless all of you!

    Joyce and Wilbur

  16. Forrest , we are hoping for you!
    Go on!

  17. Dear Forrest & Flock,

    We're so happy to hear that your surgery has been postponed and may not even be necessary! We just wanted to share the Daily Word with you from today, April 1st. We're also remembering that one year ago today, two of our dolphin mums brought amazing new life into the world. Today is the first day of the rest of your amazing life. Go for it Forrest!

    Friday, April 01, 2011
    First Steps
    Ready to take on this day, I claim the abundant life I was created to live!
    Children taking their first steps teach us an important lesson: With confidence, drive and a strong desire to walk, these little ones push past their comfort zone and move forward.

    I know that as a child of God, I can tap into my own adventurous nature and determination to do whatever is before me this day. I might be taking my first steps in physical or emotional recovery. I can do anything I set my heart on.

    As I search my soul, I know that God provides me with whatever is needed to step forward. I confidently take on any challenge or adventure that leads me to claim the abundant life I was created to live.

    God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance.--2 Corinthians 9:8

    It will be wonderful to have our flock all together again in the paradise called Brightwood. We miss and love you all~

    Jack and Carmen

  18. The emotional roller coaster you are on! My heart goes out to each of you. pam Chauvin

  19. As always my thoughts and prayers are with you will get through this, Forrest!!!! We know you will.

  20. Overwhelmed by all you have endured and are enduring, it is a struggle to know just what to say so will keep it short - what has been done once can be done again, hurray for the love and support of familly and friends (esp siblings!), time heals, faith and trust are key. We are right there by your side in spirit, sending our love and praying for swift improvement and recovery. The Shermans

  21. Dear Forrest, Keep up the progress and healing! Isn't Team 44 amazing? You know they are with you each moment of your recovery and we are all thinking of you every day. We miss you and Team 44 in Virginia and look forward to having you all back home soon. Much love, The Nettere's

  22. Dear Forrest,
    Your toe wiggling and the enormous courage you are showing has made me push through my very low tech self and ask who else but your greatest fan, Olivia Simmons, how to write on this blog thing. So here's my message to you...YOU CAN DO THIS, FORREST ALLEN!! I have seen you deal with enormous challenges and frustrations and, even as a little boy, settle for nothing short of moving forward. I always have and always will have 100% faith in your ability to overcome any obstacle that comes your way and move on with even a bigger heart and smile(if that's possible!) I am always thinking of you...haven't missed a day of updates. Much Love, Mrs. Sharples

  23. Kent, Rae, Austin and Forrest,
    Please know that our hopes, prayers, care and concern are with you every moment-we love you all and wish we where there for a hug. We know Forrest still has that spirit and strength that made for such awesome progress before and that he will do it again. We pray for a quick and painless passage through these current hurdles and that you will soon be blessed with his smile again. WE BELIEVE IN YOU, FORREST!!
    Love from all of us in Arizona, Bev, Frank, John and Susan

  24. Dear Forrest,

    This is Olivia Simmons. I have been talking to Mrs. Sharples about you and she showed me a picture of you when you were a little boy. You are alot bigger now and stronger! I know you can do this. Please get better soon! I will pray for you at night every night until you get better!

  25. Thank you for keeping these posts going. It has meant a lot to the students at Highland, and me, to share this journey with Forrest. You all are an inspiration.

  26. Forrest, I know this is only a temporary setback. You are too strong to let this keep you down. You are my best friend man and I love you so much. I hope I get to visit you soon.

  27. Dear Kent, Rae, Austin and Forrest,

    We are praying for you so much today and asking God to bring Forrest back!

    Thinking of you so much!
    Kelly, Brad, Ava and Chase

  28. forrest today we had morning meting which is out version of hills assembles. well kristen turco and i stood up and asked everyone to say a prayer for you because i know everyone at foxcroft either knows you from hill or has a close friend that knows you. i love you and hope you are doing better today and all the love and prayers from foxcroft are working.

    lots of love Montana and the Foxroft community

  29. Forrest,
    I know things are really tough for you right now, but I want you to know I'm really proud of the way you are constantly fighting and doing your best. I've been following your progress daily and I know that you will be back on the road to getting better soon. I haven't seen you or your family in far too long and I hope to change that someday soon. You are in my prayers daily and I know the Lord will help you fight through this setback. Hope to hear about you getting back up and going real soon.

    Your Cousin,


  30. Dear Forrest,
    I'm praying for you and can't wait to meet you one day. Owen tells me you are very funny and love animals. So do I. I just started taking horseback riding lessons. I got a little scared, but listened to my instructor and pushed myself through the scary part. I hope you are not scared, but know that you can push through to the fun again.

    Lilli (Owen Looney's little sister)

    Dear Forrest, This is Owen and Lilli's mom. We think of you all the time and continue to pray for you daily trusting that you are healing and finding your way back to us - restored and renewed.

    God bless you,

  31. Forrest - thinking of you and sending prayers and positive energy!

  32. Aloha Forrest- stay strong my friend, keep fighting. Always thinking of you. Prayers are with you & your family.
    Kona Hawaii.

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