Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Update: 11:45pm on 6/14

Hi all,

I'm watching Forrest during the nights, so I'm trying to be productive and do the blog while I'm up anyway. He's sleeping soundly right now. He and I just watched The Matrix (Forrest only likes the first one, which is the best, so we stopped after that). We're waiting to see if we can transfer to National Rehab Center in DC this week, if not then next week. Forrest had some great visitors the last few days. Two friends from Mercersburg, Giovanni DeSantis (Gio) and Shayna Rice, came to visit over the weekend. In addition, Nick Weeden, a close friend of Forrest since kindergarten, visited him Monday and Tuesday. It was great to hang out with all of them and hear about their College plans. It was a morale boost for us as well as Forrest. We're working on a plan for more people to visit, it should be sorted out in a couple days, stay tuned.

Aunt Lynn returned again to the front lines late Monday night, and already she has jumped back into the fray with enthusiasm. It's great to have her back!

All the best,
Austin and Team 44

Here's a guest post from Gio:

A journey that began in Mercersburg brought Shayna and I to UVA medical center only to be greeted by the warming presents of Forrest. Anyone who knows Forrest can attest to the immediate presence he has when in the room. That very presence which gives everyone assurance that Forrest will soon be back to his same goofy and always smiling self. The determination and strength he has surpasses that of anyone I know and should be a model for us all.

As I walked in, the love and support of his friends, family, and fellow classmates seemed to wallpaper the room. Signs of encouragement are all around Forrest and it is this very form of medicine that will aid him to a quick recover. I left Forrest with some new music both on Cds and playlists on his ipad, a Mercersburg class of 2011 hat and an air freshener, Mercersburg lacrosse gloves. Forrest’s great taste in music, I have come to find out is the best on the floor according to staff.

I was overwhelmed to be with Forrest this weekend. He greeted me personally with several high fives and fist bumbs and even held up a 1 with his finger to tell me he was feeling great. We enjoyed our time together looking at recent photos from prom, graduation and bachelorette, followed by some old pictures of him and all his friends. I talked to Forrest and caught him up on what’s been going on, even Austin gave Forrest some good news, letting him know “ We got Osama”. I also enjoyed learning some of the therapy side of things, helping Forrest to put on his “moon boots” and even working out his legs and putting him to sleep while enjoying “Wagon Wheel”.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Stone, Dr. Allen, Austin, and even now Sundance. Shayna and I learned just what it takes to make it on team Forrest, learning quickly that each and everyday is a battle. Regardless, The strength and spirit of his family is truly the greatest gift Forrest has right now.

Forrest has definitely been an incredible friend, not just to me but to all of us, now it is our turn to return the favor and continue to stand by his side in his time of need.

Your Friend Always,
Giovanni DeSantis (Gio)

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.~

Gio and Shayna

Gio and Forrest

Nick Weeden and Tired Forrest

Catching up


  1. Thank you for such a nice post! Forrest, so glad you have such good friends and family! We continue to pray for your recovery, to think positive thoughts, to visualize a strong and healthy you, and to hold you and your Team close to our hearts. Much love from The Shermans

  2. Forrest, you are constantly in my thoughts every day. I'll be doing something, then stop and wonder what you might be doing at that same time. I always say a small prayer at those times, asking that you are having a good day, with your friends and family there to keep urging you on. It's nice that you are so much closer to home now so that more friends can come to visit.

    Hang in there, Forrest---we're all rooting for you!

    Love, Wilbur and Joyce Ellis

    PS: We had a blast with your grandma at lunch Sunday. She was really feeling her oates!! She got a good zinger in on ole Wilbur! Can't remember what it was---senior moment---but it was really a good one. We all cracked up!

  3. I love seeing the pics of Forrest with his buddies! The BEST medicine. What awesome young people to trek to UVA to support their good friend and to be one. Makes me feel good about our collective future with them at the helm. :)

    Our prayers continue for Forrest's upwardly mobile path. We pray that Forrest's medical issues recede into the distant past VERY soon, and that as his strength improves, his achievements in rehab get back on faster moving track. You all deserve a change of pace more than anyone I currently know.

    Much love to a great family and a great young man - men! (Austin, included!)