Today has been filled with hope as well as tears. Forrest made the move by ambulance to the Shepherd Center and received an uplifting warm welcome. As news of his return spread, many of his previous nurses and therapists stopped by to see him. There were a few tearful moments as they expressed how sad they were to see the extent of his setback. But it was also inspiring to see how committed his team is to getting him back on his feet and talking again. His medications and nutrition are being adjusted and if he’s strong enough, he will participate in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy tomorrow.
I’ve been watching an HBO mini-series called “The Pacific,” which follows several groups of WWII marines around the Pacific theater. One of the mortar-men, Eugene, goes from being a fresh recruit to being a seasoned veteran, showing new recruits the ropes during the intense island battles. Being back at Shepherd, watching other patients and their families, and reflecting on how far we’ve come, we have begun to feel like battle-hardened veterans. We now know how to dig our foxholes, but it hasn’t gotten any easier. All we can do is focus on gaining small amounts of land, day-by-day. Forrest made so much progress at Shepherd the first time, we know he can do it again. They have reassembled his original team and they are ready to fight for him. As one of them so poignantly stated, “This is where miracles happen, it’s what we do.” We’ve seen it before, we’ll keep working around the clock until Forrest makes it back again.
Austin and Team Forrest