Thursday, July 14, 2011

Update: 10:30pm on 7/14

From Austin:
Today, July 14th, marks a symbolically important moment in Forrest's life and the lives of the friends and family of Team 44. Exactly six months ago, Forrest's life was stopped in its tracks and set on a different and challenging course. He's made great strides since then and has also suffered a myriad of harrowing setbacks. He's fought hard and gotten beaten down again and again. Yet despite all the setbacks and complications, he's never stopped fighting, and each day Forrest and his team begin with the same determination and purpose as the day before, envisioning the future we will create; Forrest back home among friends and family. No one has suffered more, nor worked harder, than Forrest. It's that fight inside him that will bring him back.

As brothers, we wrestled a lot, and every time I wrestled with Forrest, often until we were both grass stained and bruised but still laughing, he would give it every thing he had, often until I gave up. I know that with his inner determination, along with hard work, great friends, and time... he will be back, however long it takes. The last six months is just one chapter in the uplifting story that will be told of Forrest's recovery.

From Aunt Lynn:
It's been good to see Forrest and the Team again. Especially since he is looking better! I could really tell he had gained some weight. We are all doing our best to give Forrest plenty of support with Mom gone on a business trip. She is not easily replaced but Forrest is a Champ as we know, so he is hanging right in there. We did take videos of her before she left so those get played to him. He is doing really well with the changes. We've been able to host a few visitors also: his classmate from Hill, Corina and her mom came on Saturday. And Mr. Northrup and Mr. Sweitzer from Hill School were able to stop by on Sunday. Although it is a challenge, Forrest rallied with some hand squeezes and fist bumps. His eye contact showed that he enjoyed hearing the news from the home front. Thank you to all the thoughtful visitors.

Monday was a great day of therapy. Forrest stood three times for 5 minutes each time, which demonstrates some great progress. He also made some progress with speech therapy. Whitney Weeden helped out a lot and actually contributed to Forrest making great strides during speech therapy on Monday. Tuesday was a rough day. He threw up a couple of times, and it may be related to his past GI issues or may be related to a new medication that was started on Tuesday and since been stopped. Wednesday was a bit quieter. Today was OK, and Forrest, Dad, and Austin met with a Neurosurgeon for a consult today. During the meeting they continued to work on the plan to get Forrest's skull flap back on, which may still take several months due to blood clotting issues. Lastly, at the end of today my daughter Lisa was able to stop by and visit with Forrest.

So we head into the weekend and next week look forward to the therapy sessions and other things that will help Forrest continue to grow stronger. Patience and determination are two of our favorite words! We miss you mum, but you have trained us well so carry on with no worries! Team 44 is doing fine and The Champ is hanging tough.

Forrest and two amazing mentors to Forrest, Austin, and many Hill alumni.
Mr Northrup & Mr. Sweitzer lift our spirits

Corina and Forrest

Forrest standing up on Monday with Dad and his physical therapist

Forrest with his new helmet and his room decorations


  1. Just wanted to check in and let you know that you are constantly in our thoughts and prayers, Forrest. Glad you got to see some of your teachers. Keep up the good work young man!! From what your brother tells us, you never have given up on a fight... so keep on fighting. You have a lot of cheerleaders out here rooting for you!!!

  2. You know, the Tour de France is going on right now. I watch in amazement as, each day, those incredible athletes tackle the climbs, the curves, the breath-stopping descents, torrential rain, and sweltering heat, while all the while trying to dodge crashes and go FAST. These impressive cyclists make me think of Forrest's drive, determination, and tenacity. Every day, no matter the conditions, he gets up and gives it his all! He might be wearing an orange jersey in these pictures but he has earned the yellow jersey in our eyes.

    I am really happy to hear Lynn's observation that Forrest has put on a bit of weight. I can see it in the pictures, too. When can we start sending cookies?

    Mum will be back soon, now. She'll be so proud and appreciative of the whole
    Team 44. Carry on with all our love and support!

    Diane & Jay

  3. Hi Forrest and Team 44!

    Forrest, I love your new helmet! Very cool! I'm so glad to see that you are adding some weight, too. That's a wonderful sign of things to come.

    You are all in our prayers, and we're praying that Mum is having a safe and productive business trip. Keep up the good work!!


    Joyce and Wilbur Ellis

  4. Forrest, you are definitely MY hero!! You're making strides and I know you will be back at your beloved home soon. Big and great things are coming; I just know it!!

  5. Hi Forrest!

    I love your new helmet! You look like you are gaining strength. So proud of you and all your hard work and determination! You are my hero too!!

    We sure love you and are praying for you! May God give you the strength you need each day!

    Way to go team 44! You all are AMAZING!! God bless you!

    Kelly and Family

  6. Gaining weight - two words that I never thought were beautiful before today! We've been away, but please know that Forrest - and your entire family - are never far from my thoughts or absent from my daily prayers.

    Rae, I hope that your trip was smooth and successful that you were not overly anxious to be away.

    Please know that many of us are eager to DO something while you all are working so hard getting Forrest back on his feet and ready for surgery. Lynn, would you let us know via the blog? I'm happy to help, and I know many others are, too. Food, shopping, errand running, animals, anything.

    I am most fond of leaving quotes from scripture on the blog to reassure Team Forrest that they, and Forrest, all have the constant presence of a loving God in their midst. But, yesterday, after the world cup women's final, a favorite quote came to mind that seemed applicable to the team and also made me think of Forrest and his journey to date:

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts ~ Winston Churchill

    All our love to each of you,
    Shannon and family

  7. PS - to some of the most courageous people I've ever known - Forrest, and all of you. Prayers that successes string themselves together in the days ahead.