Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update: 9:00pm on 6/29

Forrest has been working hard and striving to succeed, as he has done so every day. For over a month Forrest has been unable to communicate with us. Yesterday brought about some exciting progress. He had a great Speech Therapy session yesterday, when he pointed to the “no” card when his therapist asked if he was 37 years old and pointed to the “yes” card when asked if he lived in Virginia. After those two successes he was exhausted and unable to answer anything else, but it was a great start. He’s also started tentatively fist bumping and high fiving again, which are great signs. He overall looks more alert and aware, after a difficult month. He’s been having some gastro-intestinal problems, which the doctors are working up. He’s still posturing and hyper-extending for many hours each day, we are working with the doctors on changing his pain, anxiety, and muscle relaxing meds to counter these “posturing” episodes.

Transferring from his bed to his wheelchair he stood up with me several times yesterday and it was a heartwarming sight to see him looming above looking down at me, which is how he usually looks at people, especially me. The active duty Team 44 has moved into our new apartment, much more spacious and just a 10 min walk from the hospital. Yeah Aunt Lobie for finding rental furniture, supervising the movers, organizing our new abode, and shopping for and stocking the new Team 44 command post!

We also had a great number of Mercersburg (Forrest’s high-school for several years) visitors over the weekend and yesterday. It was great to see Nikki and Christina Hyrkas, their Mother, Mikk Nuth, Peter Flanagan, Gio DeSantis, and Shayna Rice. Forrest seemed to love seeing them, even when he dozed off we know hearing them tell stories of times with Forrest gave him positive energy & material for happy dreams.

Austin and Team 44

Forrest standing!

Christina and Nikki


Gio and Pete (Shayna not in pic!)


  1. Thanks for the update Austin!! Loved the picture of the two brothers! So heartwarming and inspirational.

    May God bless you and give you and Team 44 strength, courage and hope! We are praying!

    Forrest we are so proud of you!!!

    Lots of love,
    Kelly and Family:)

  2. Austin, if that beautiful big brother smile doesn't help Forrest in his recovery, nothing will! Great to get the update and to see you, Forrest, on your own two feet and with so many friends. Slow and steady wins the race...lots of encouraging steps towards the finish in this post - we are glad! Prayers and love being sent your way, The Shermans

  3. Yea Forrest! Yea friends! Being closer to home is good for everyone. I found a video I thought Forrest might like - lots of other cute ones on this site as well.

    Our continued love, hope and prayers.

    The Laughlin Family

  4. YAY!!! A new blog!!! It's like a present to us out here!

    Forrest, I'm SO THRILLED things are moving along well, and that you've been able to stand up with Austin for a few minutes while moving to your wheel chair! It's wonderful about the friends who are coming to see you, too!

    Austin, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the new blog and pictures!!!! My Hero!! Is that the correct address that's shown on the Blog now, in Virginia??

    Prayers for continues successes!!

    Love, Joyce and Wilbur Ellis

  5. Dear Team 44,

    We're so glad that you've found new digs and are settling in. Aunt Lobie, "You done good!" it's heartwarming to hear of all the friends who are coming to visit Forrest. We can tell that they boost everyone's morale.

    The best news, of course, is Forrest's improving communications. We admire his tenacity because this has been an Iron Man trial, for sure. We hope the doctor's can figure out how to extinguish the posturing episodes so Forrest can focus all his energy on his therapies and regaining his strength.

    We are looking forward to reading the book that Forrest and all of Team 44 will write one day about this experience. The blog tells some of the team's perspective and when Forrest's perspective is added, it will be fabulous.

    Although we don't comment on every posting, we think of all of you all the time and are constantly sending a stream of positive energy and love.

    Hugs to everyone,

    Diane and Jay

  6. I am SO happy you found a suitable apartment. The 10 minute walk will do everyone good! Austin, thank you so much for the post. I check every day and when days go by, I do get a little worried. I agree with the above posts, slow and steady wins the race! No one has a better team behind them! Hugs XXOO Barbara Riddleberger and the gang from Rabbit Hill