Monday, April 11, 2011

Update: 11:30pm on 4/11

I'm Forrest's cousin Lisa. I typically serve as a blog admin, not a blog writer, however, I was lucky enough to once again spend some time with Team Forrest in person over the past few days -- a long awaited trip that certainly warrants a brief shift to writing.

Hi Forrest,

It's been a long 11 weeks since I last got to see you at UVA. And I know if the time has felt long to me, it must feel much longer to you. When I saw you last, you were still in the process of waking up so it was amazing to walk into your room and be greeted by your open eyes focused in my direction. So good to see you, cousin.

I got to be part of your physical therapy session today. You did the work, I sat on the edge of the bed and served as a target for your rotating arms. Your therapist is awesome - spunky and supportive, pushing you because she knows you're ready to get moving again. We worked on head movements (not your favorite) and then spent a long time stretching, flexing, and moving your arms and shoulders. You worked hard. By the end of the session, everyone was sweating and ready for a rest (and only partially because the hot Atlanta sun was heating up the room). She gave you some homework assignments before she left and since your mom was with us at that point, I'm sure you'll be working on those tomorrow morning before your next session. :)

Our other big adventure today was your move to a room down the hall. You've graduated from ICU to the intermediate care area, which means new nurses and a new room setup. Although we setup your digital frame with pictures of friends and family, the new room could still use some decorating (I'm sure Team Forrest will help remedy that shortly - we were missing some tape this afternoon). I've got good feelings about this room, Forrest. It's bed number #15 in your journey - a number that can seem a little daunting until you remember that it will one day only be a footnote in your journey. All that matters is that each bed is bringing you closer to home.

Finally, just wanted to tell you that I'm awed by the strength that surrounds you, Forrest - I know you can feel it in the room with you. Your team this week - Mom, Austin, and Aunt Tricia (supported by lots of phone calls from Dad) - continues to serve tirelessly as your 24-hour cheerleaders, advocates, entertainers, and constant supporters. Last night I sat with Austin as he read you texts, showed you a great video put together by your friends, and told you about upcoming visitors. I passed Tricia in the driveway last night as she left to sit with you during the late shift and heard her call your mom to check-in right when she woke up this afternoon. And today I watched as your sweet Mum talked with doctors and nurses to make sure you are getting the best care possible, gently stretched out your tight leg muscles, and rubbed your feet so you could comfortably drift off to sleep as you pushed through a storm. Beyond the fans that cheer for you in the room every day, you have daily comments, emails, calls, prayers, and well wishes from people all over the country who are cheering for you just as boldly. You are certainly loved a lot.

Back to cheering with the rest of your fans in VA...

Watching the new video your friends sent

Working hard during physical therapy


  1. Good morning Forrest. I was so thrilled to see another blog entry this morning. And, you've been moved out of the ICU! That is wonderful. I have great hopes that you will soon be up and moving around again. Keep up the good work!

    Love, Joyce and Wilbur

  2. Lisa!

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful news that Forrest is once again on the a new room, to the next phase in his remarkable recovery. :)

    You and your family has been an inspiration to the hundreds of people that read Forrest's blog. What a gift you have given to all of us in administering the blog. Thank you!

    I hope that your journey northward was smooth and swift.

    Sending prayers for renewed strength of mind and body for the entire team known to us all as the Fantastic Team Forrest.

    Sending intense prayers for Forrest's continued and steady progress, strength and weight gain. Would that some devoted fans could share a pound or ten. :-/

    Love to ALL of you.

  3. What a great update Lisa!

    Forrest we are in your fan club in Colorado! Many of our Colorado friends, Tennessee friends and Texas friends are praying for you too!!

    We are so inspired by you and team 44!!

    Cousin Kelly and Family:)

  4. Forrest

    When you set out to Bryce that fateful day, you could not have imagined the journey you were to embark upon. You could not fathom the days ahead. You, of course, knew how much your family cared for you and how much you cared for them. You knew of your friends and friendships from childhood to adulthood.

    However, you could never have foreseen the vanguard of love and support you have experienced these past months. Even you, as affable and lovable as you has always been could not have foreseen this.

    Lets begin with your family. We all wish we had a family such as yours. Your Mum and Dad have been pillars of strength. In the midst of chaos, they have found calm. In the midst of fear, they have found strength. They have clinical knowledge that allows them to be part of imperfect decision making process, yet they have hope and optimism to lift them above their knowledge and to carry you through difficult times.

    Your Brother is truly amazing. At a time when most young men his age are focused only on themselves and that which will allow them to succeed in their personal and professional lives, yours has put his life on pause until you have navigated this challenge. He has been a pillar of strength for both you and your parents. The tenderness that he displays with you each day is phenomenal. He is the finest young man I know.

    Your Aunts, Uncles and cousins (as well as Godparents) have stepped in to provide extra sets of hands, ears and eyes in Charlottesville and Atlanta. They have sat vigil by your bed, brought groceries to your Mom and Dad and helped Austin create and manage this blog.

    Each day so many of us wake up and go to this blog to check on your progress. Over the months, we have, thanks to your family, been able to follow the basics of the ups and downs of your recovery. While we were spared the ugly details, we watched you rise from your bed and walk again. We saw you fitted with your new lid. We agonized with the regression in your recovery and the need for the removal of the Lid.

    As you look back on these days and read this blog, i hope you do so with the perspective that it is an Ill wind that blows no good. You have the benefit of knowing how much you are loved and how special that is. As Paul said to the Corinthians " If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If i have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all that I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease;where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

    As you go back and read this bog, I hope that you see how much you are loved. You are loved by the royal "we" that read this blog, but you are loved by your Mum, your Dad and your Brother. You are loved completely and unconditionally. As you regain your strength in the days to come, know that you are loved.

    Keep fighting the fight!!!


    The Selfes

  5. Hi my wonderful grandson Forrest!:o) !Grandmom has just lost my comment just made, so this will be short. You may be laughing at me because I forgot to do edit, save and sure enough!! it went away. What the Selfes just said was my comment as well. Unconditional love coming your way and I have to run to get to church on time where we will be praying for you honey. Talk with you later. :o) Grandmom Allen