Sunday, April 3, 2011

Update: 9:30pm on 4/3

I am thrilled to be able to say that today was an encouraging day for Forrest. This AM at the morning nurse shift change, when asked, he most definitely gave a thumbs up and a wiggle of the toes, both right and left. In addition he shrugged his shoulders on command! Twice a day, during the nurse shift changes, the sedation is very briefly lightened to evaluate any signs of cognitive improvement (aka responding to verbal commands). With lighter sedation comes an increased gag reflex,and he runs the the very real risk of aspiration which could potientially lead to pneumonia. This makes it impossible to keep in in a lightened state for very long. However, today will hopefully be the first big step on the way back out of the rabbit hole. There have been a myriad of specialists weighing in over the past few days about what steps to take next, and the consensus is to watch and wait a few more days. As long as Forrest shows improvement, it seems a prudent course of action. HIs vitals remain stable, and there is no evidence that the intracranial pressure is increasing. Nor does he show signs of an infection or rejection to the prosthesis. This is all a relief to everyone.

This morning Rae dreamed that he walked into the room and gave her a thumbs up, and indeed he was able to greet her with a feeble thumbs up during the lightened sedation. This week I'm sure will bring challenges, but no one on this earth has more faithful friends or loving family than Forrest. Combined with his spirit and his will to get back to us, I know it will happen. Now, as much as ever, we need your prayers and collective thoughts sent Forrests' way.

Love to all
Rae, Kent, and Austin

Valerie standing vigil over Forrest
(Lacrosse ball signed and sent by his Mercersburg lax buddies)


  1. Prayers are being answered! Small steps again, but you will reach your goal. We're so sorry you have to go down this same path again.... we know you will be running down it soon! We will continue to send our love and prayers to you and your family and hope that ours combined with all of the thousands of others will help to gently bring you back to all of us. Thumbs up!! Love, Betsy, Mark & Lauren Davis

  2. So glad you are rallying, Forrest, you amazing guy! Your athlete's determination is kicking back in, and we are so glad to read that you had an encouraging day.
    love, prayers, energy and patience,
    Carina, Caroline and Sajen

  3. What encouraging news!!! I'm heading to bed with a grin on my face and a grateful heart. Valerie, you are an awesome friend.

    Kent/Allen's, what a gift of answered prayer this blog has become for so many.

    Covering sweet Forrest in prayer tonight....your positive, thumbs up boy.

    Love to all of you,
    Shannon and the Davis 5

  4. Wow Val, seeing you there made me cry. Forrest is in my thoughts every day. Rae and Kent and Austin, Forrest's journey tugs hard on all of the mother's heart strings because we ALL know it could be anyone of us at anytime. There is no greater love than that of a mother, I am not at all disputing Kent or Austin or Teamm 44's love but I know that Rae knows what I mean. It is a natural thing. We are the protectors. Rae, know that your steadfast vigilance is what is keeping Forrest in tune and the love that Team 44 has portrayed has kept Forrest connected. He WILL emerge, I am sure of it!! Take comfort in these small monumental improvements. You are on your way!! Love and Hugs, XXOO Barbara Riddleberger and the gang from Rabbit Hill...

  5. What awesome news!! You continue to remain in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We believe that it wont be long and Rae's dream will be a reality!!

    Love the Selfes

  6. We have been following the blog and cannot believe what you have had to go through. We pray that you will overcome your most recent hurdle and get on the road to a full recovery soon. You and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers every day and are certainly an inspiration to us.
    Chris, Donna and Ashley (Bermuda)

  7. I'm so very happy and relieved to read this entry. Thumbs up to Forrest and hugs to all by his side. Jeanne

  8. so glad to read some positive progress! Best wishes for more to come.

    Amy Slayter

  9. We're holding onto a vision of many bright, shining days in Forrest's future, when he's once again able to do the things he loves with the people he loves, and this dark time now is just a memory. We're sending you strength from Bermuda -- you can get through this!
    Nadia and Tim Hasselbring

  10. How wonderful!! We'll all keep the prayers and good wishes coming!! Joyce and Wilbur

  11. Encouraging news! Thank you. Am sending a quote today that is just part of a song - a very beautiful one. Music has been important to me in many different situations, and this song has been a big part of my thoughts and energy for all of you in the past several weeks...I am trusting that Forrest, like the river, is for good reasons hiding a bit right now, and that this will lead to continued signs of improvement in all the time ahead. Thinking of you constantly and sending lots of love and prayers. Lisa S.

    "The river runs and the river hides
    Out to the ocean and under the sky
    I promise you, the answer will come
    Hold on to patience and watch for the sign
    Everything in its time"

  12. Dear Rae,Kent,Austinn and all of Team Forrest:

    After much questioning of Michaela, I finally found your Blog. I ask her constantly, "How is Forrest?" I have been one of those people, not on the Blog who has been sending him warm wishes, thoughts and prayers. I spent all of last evening and today reading every single word that has been written. My heart and prayers go out to all of you as you guide Forrest on his journey home. Remember, not everyone heals in a straight line.....and Forrest has always marched to his own drummer in his own direction.

    The love and connection that flows out of this Blog is incredible - you are all amazing people, it is truly your love and determination that is seeing Forrest through.

    A few Thanksgivings weekends ago (Before Mikk could drive) I picked her up at your house. I remember the simple pleasures of the moment, watching Kent play Wii, Austin talking about his fish, trying to coax Forrest into helping him with a water change. There were cousins and family there, the house was alive with energy and warmth. I remember coming home and telling my husband - "What an incredible family" - and incredible you all are, going through this journey with Forrest, with such undeterred love and determination. It's no wonder that Forrest will continue to recover (at his own speed, I am sure) - he has all of you by his side.

    Mikk is working at Foxcroft this summer as the barn manager, so she will be in Middleburg, right nearby. I envision her teasing Forrest mercilessly, helping him ride, cranking up the dubstep and being part of Team Forrest.

    With love, hope and prayers,

    Abby Laughlin

  13. Excellent news! :-)
    Forrest, reading all the comments and stories on your blog, there is only one thought that comes to mind: You must be a very special person as so many dear friends & family, such as Valerie Lee and others, rush to your side to help you and your family. They support you while you are on the wildest rollercoaster ride of your life and they offer to help out in which ever way necessary. They love you and will not give up, EVER!
    I greatly admire your strength, courage and your incredible sense of humor. Stay the course and you'll find your way home.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers every day. I share the stories of your courageous battle with my 3 children every day so they will not forget you and what it takes to never give up.
    Barbara Stetson, Middleburg, VA

  14. You are all in our hearts and prayers today. May it go well for Forrest and he be back on that good recovery road very soon. Xxxx. Bundles