Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update: 9:30am on 6/8

The Forrest has landed. Forrest’s medical jet touched down at Charlottesville Airport at exactly 12:30 midday. It was on time and I was there waiting for 44, Rae and Austin. It was nice of Forrest to let his Mom and Brother come along on his private jet. A waiting ambulance gathered up Forrest and Mom and we all headed to UVA Medical Center. Austin rode with me and told me that they had thumb wrestled during part of the trip. Aunt Tricia loaded up the remains of the Atlanta apartment and spent the day doing the long drive from Atlanta to VA. He was sleepy and tired from his trip and wasn’t very responsive for most of the day. He indicated through finger raising to Austin at one point he was bored and I’m sure he misses his team from Shepherd that he knew so well and always kept him entertained. Austin and Mom went out and bought him some games and Mom worked on securing housing.

It was nice to see some familiar faces from UVA and he was ushered to his nice spacious room, his 21st different room since this odyssey began, his first room being three floors down from where he is now. He is still struggling with the remains of the nasty respiratory condition and still dangerously low on reserves and energy. He is still struggling with the stiffness in his muscle that has plagued him for the last several weeks. He has had some intestinal difficulties in the last several days which at one point threatened to stop the transport but seems to be doing better currently. He has some clot abnormalities in his arms but so far no major complications. We spent part of the early morning meeting with the UVA neurosurgery team and talking options and timing of cranioplasty (putting the lid back on). Everyone is agreed that he needs to be adequately over his last infection before we proceed on to the next step.

It bears noting that our modern medical system that has supported Forrest and his “won’t quit” attitude thru a dozen major complications. All of these treatments and medication have side effects and consequences not easily foreseen. So we approach each step with caution but never the less we must continue to move forward to progress.

So Forrest has made it back to Virginia and we hope the next few steps will go more smoothly than the last couple months. We look forward to getting 44 going again but acknowledge that it is a long road.

I repeat my quote from an earlier blog.

"No sense wishing for what we had, the past is already gone. Let us instead hope for what may be, for tomorrow anything is possible." Forrest’s Dad 2011

Thanks to all the help from Shepherd Center and all of Forrest’s friends and family. We continue to welcome your thoughts, prayers, posts and support.

Dad and Team 44

Saying good bye to part of the awesome Shepherd team

Distracting Forrest playing "Angry Birds" on the jet ride

Transferring from jet to ambulance in Charlottesville, VA


  1. Welcome back to Virgina Forrest! It just feels better having you closer to home! Hope you can feel the good vibrations from all of us more distinctly now! Keep up the fight! We're with you and praying for you every step of the way!
    The Rafferty Family

  2. Yay!!! I bet you are all glad that is over and now you can move on to the next phase of healing. You all have learned so much through this, the only way you can go is forward. I pray that every day is a great day from here on out.

    Christie Jones

  3. I'm so glad your trip back to Virginia went well. I looks pretty crowded on that jet! I'm praying that things will start looking up now, and that no more nasty infections will come along once this one is killed out of his system. Forrest, keep up the good fight!! If anyone can do it, you can!!

    Love, Wilbur and Joyce Ellis

  4. Welcome back, buddy. Glad you had a safe trip and can't wait to see your handsome face soon. Love you~ Rebekah

  5. Golly! I went on an overnight camping trip with the fifth grade, and I come back to all this good news! Welcome back to Virginia! Snazzy transportation there, boy!

    I just know this is the start of something really good, a new, positive chapter that will lead you back to health and happiness at Brightwood. Valerie and I have been plotting on how to make the Man Cave the best place to "chill", and can't wait to have all of you back. Every day you'll get stronger, feel better and be able to work harder...yay, Forrest!

    The Elgins

  6. Way to go Forrest! Keep fighting. We are proud of you here at the 'Burg!

    Coach McGuire

  7. Boy, I am HAPPY to read that you all are back in Virginia! Nothing like home to help you heal.

    After a few days to recoup from the stress of the trip north, I pray that our brilliant VA docs can chart a course that will minimize the effects of the necessary meds and procedures, and keep Forrest moving FORWARD to the healing that is promised his faithful family.

    Keep us posted and let us know when we can visit!

    Constant love and prayers to all of us.

  8. Hi Allen family! Glad the trip went smoothly. Tom and I are living at the Hampton Inn and Suites by the medical center for the next couple of weeks until baby 2 is born. We certainly don't want to bring any little kid germs into the hospital, but would love to take you guys out to dinner once you are settled and certainly let us know if you need anything brought over at any point. Always nice to have an extra pair of hands! Tom drives into Middleburg most days as well. We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers!
    Clare and Tom Mansmann
    540 272 7939

  9. What a great feeling it is to have you guys closer to home!!!!

    I second Shannon's prayer that a new perspective and a new set of eyes can begin to get Forrest back on a healing track.

    We all are excited to have you back where perhaps we can do something to help Team 44. Please let us know what would be helpful. You guys have been carrying the burden of setting up life 10 hours from home while also trying to focus on Forrest's recovery. Now that your close to home, please let us know what we can do to make the daily grind easier for you. As you can tell from the blog, and I am sure from your email, there are a lot of people at the ready to serve. No task is too big or too small!!

    However, none of us wants to intrude or overwhelm. Just let us know.


    The Selfes

  10. Welcome back to Proud Virginia, Forrest and Team 44! Forrest, I hope you are soon well enough to eat some of your famous Virginia peanuts, and fabulous summer produce, especially the corn and tomatoes. It's okay that you can't drink the local wine. When you turn 21, we'll treat you to some delicious California wine.

    We're glad the flight went well. I hope you're earning frequent flier miles on these medical transport flights so can take free flights to Hi and Bermuda once you get through the next steps of recovery. We can see you on THOSE
    flights, sipping juice, watching a movie, and anticipating reuniting with your
    dolphin and DQ family.

    As you settle into your new room, let us know if you need a new rainbow picture from Victoria. She asks about you and, even at her young age, she
    sends positive wishes for smiles and feeling better. She hopes you have some
    "good" pjs to wear to feel comfy (like dinosaurs, especially).

    We hope this move launches steady upward progress for you, Forrest. For the
    whole Team, we hope the move infuses greater comfort, hope, and energy.

    Love to all of you,

    Diane & Jay

  11. Each step forward is a blessed and courageous event Forrest...and one step closer to you walking with your arm around your Mum at home in the yard. Peace and strength to you and all those who love and care for you.

  12. Hello to Team Forrest - glad, like so many, to have you back in VA! Hoping that the transition is going well, understanding that change for most of us isn't easy, and wishing you patience and positive thoughts if/when necessary. May this new leg of the journey be what all of you need, especially you, Forrest - we are sending good thoughts, great hopes, and much love your way. The Shermans

  13. I know this trip to Virginia is going to be so positive, especially for Team 44, and especially for Rae who has not been home in ages! Reach out Team 44 if you need anything. We all mean it and like the Selfes no task is too large! You are on your way Forrest. You are so deserving of some lucky breaks here. Heal, rest, find peace knowing we all love you and can't wait to welcome you home!! Love, Barbara Riddleberger and the gang @ Rabbit Hill XXOO

  14. Welcome back to VA :-) Like the Selfe family said we are here, just let us know what the Looney family can do to help. You ALL continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Keep up all the hard work Forrest!!! xoxo The Looney family

  15. Hi Forrest,

    It is Olivia from second grade at Hill School.Whoops - I mean I am now a third grader! We finally finished school and now I can keep track of your updates alot! I am sorry my stuffed animal is late. I am going to send a "coutie catcher" too! I am glad you are back in Virginia. I hope you like Charlottesville because I like it alot. When you get better maybe you could see Monticello. They have an awesome store there with plants.I will say prayers for you!
    Olivia Simmons

  16. Forrest,
    We are so happy you are back in Virginia! A step closer to home and healing. May you continue to feel our positive thoughts and our prayers and feel the warmth we are all sending. Continue with your progress and we are looking forward to your updates. Love, Mark, Betsy & Lauren Davis

  17. Welcome home to Virginia, Forrest! So glad to hear of your recent progress.