Friday, July 1, 2011

Attention Visitors!

Maylin will be taking over coordinating visits, now that Nick Weeden and Gio DeSantis are both back at school. They graciously coordinated visits this summer and into this fall, and we couldn't have done it without them! But going forward, please text her at (803) 409-8743 or email her at so she can find a time that works for you and works with Forrest's therapy schedule. Forrest and the rest of Team Forrest love the morale boost your visits give us. If you can't come, post a short video clip to the Friends of Forrest facebook page!

The address for the National Rehab Hospital is 102 Irving St NW, Washington, DC. It is located in the Washington Hospital Complex. Please park in the “Blue Parking Garage” next to the National Rehab Hospital. Please make sure you are healthy and aren't sick with a cold or anything else!

Your support is instrumental in Forrest’s recovery and it really means the world to Forrest to have upbeat, positive visits from his friends and supporters. While visits need to be “short and sweet” in order to not over-stimulate and tire him out, it’s important to stress that your visits are EXTREMELY important to him and to us, and we look forward to seeing you! YOU are Team 44!

Stay tuned for guidelines from his rehab team below:

Guidelines for Forrest’s Visitors

Because of his injury, Forrest is currently experiencing increased periods of distress and he may become overstimulated. Thus, we ask that all visitors respect the following guidelines both during the week and on weekends.

1) Keep the environment simple. People with TBI are easily overstimulated by their surroundings. Forrest may have difficulties with filtering out external stimuli that can lead to confusion and increase the chances of fatigue and frustration. Thus, it will be important to:

a) Keep him in a low stimulation environment as much as possible. This may include reducing the noise, the lights, or the activity level in the room.

b) Keep interruptions and distractions to a minimum.

c) Try to minimize the number of trips he takes off the unit, particularly to places that are busy and highly stimulating.

2) Interactions with visitors

a) Keep the number of visitors to a minimum. Try to have no more than two people visiting at any one time.

b) Keep visits short. In general, we ask visits be kept to 15 to 30 minutes of direct interaction, as Forrest will likely fatigue with longer interactions.

c) Give Forrest a break in between visitors to rest.

d) During interactions with Forrest, please stay on one topic at a time and avoid multiple conversations or jumping from topic to topic.

e) Treat Forrest in an age appropriate way and talk to him about things he is interested in. For example, show him pictures and talk about experiences you have shared with Forrest.

f) Re-assure Forrest that he will make a full recovery and that you will have many fun times with him in the future.

3) Orientation/Memory Problems: Due to his brain injury, Forrest may not recall all of the details regarding where he is and what happened to him. It may be helpful to tell him where he is and other basic orientation information (e.g., Today is Monday July 4th 2011. You are in the hospital because you had an accident and you are safe. You are here to work on getting better. You are doing a great job and everyone is proud of you).

4) Sign Calendar: Please sign his calendar on the wall when you visit so we can talk to Forrest about his visitors and help him with his memory.

Thank you for being a crucial member of Team Forrest!


  1. How Cool is this! Forrest, you have a truly amazing circle of friends and family...Team 44, you inspire all of us!!!!

    Keep up the excellent work, Forrest, & Team 44.

    Hugs, The Plowman Family

  2. Hi team 44--Long time-no post, but not for lack of trying--I can't begin to tell you how many posts are somewhere up in 'the cloud'. My PC is not being helpful-I will see if posting as 'anomymous' works. Forrest, we're glad you are closer to home, and that your amazing friends are organizing visits. Keep up your good work. You, Austin and your parents are all heros. Keep strong,

    With love, Jim and Gail Wofford

  3. Hi Forrest, I've just got to tell you about your Grandma Norma today. She ate lunch with us and Naoma Hicks, another very close friend, and she was REALLY "feeling her oats", as they used to say!! She kept lunch very interesting, that's for sure.

    Hope you've had a good day today, and I pray for an even better one for you tomorrow! It's wonderful that your friends can come see you so much easier now that you are closer to home.

    Love, Wilbur and Joyce Ellis

  4. So glad you are now close enough to home that your friends can come and visit you!

  5. Hey Forrest, I saw your Mom and Dad last night at a concert at your old school, Hill. It was wonderful to see them as it is to hear about your great progress. Mary Thomas and I tried to see you last month but it got canceled. We are getting back on the list. It isn't easy you have so many friends!

    Love, Sally Hosta (Nick's mom)