Thursday afternoon we made the move from WHC back to NRH. It was an emotional departure from an amazing group of talented and caring nurses, doctors, therapists and PAs. They saw Team 44 through a challenging month, two major surgeries and many difficult days and nights with care and compassion. The bandages came off and he was cleared for transfer. Posters, pictures, letters and gear were packed up as we prepared to “break camp” once again. With his entourage in tow, Forrest’s gurney rolled over the sky bridge connecting the two hospitals and through the doors at NRH to a celebratory air of reunion with our prior NRH team. We were escorted into his original room with a sense that we were meant to return to this space to finish what we had attempted before… a pivotal phase of Forrest’s recovery.
And so we begin again with a renewed faith, a team re-energized by the love and devotion of family and friends and… Forrest’s New Lid! Everyone came in to admire his new profile and his bright new expression. Friday was filled with doctor’s examinations, meetings, along with in-depth evaluations by his physical, occupational and speech therapists. Without exception, everyone was pleased with his progress. His neurosurgeon, Dr. Armonda was particularly happy to see him, only a week post–op looking so alert, propped up in bed and intently watching a movie.
Dad spent the morning with Forrest and then headed back with Sundance to secure BrightWood for possible power outages from Hurricane Irene. Austin and I took advantage of the lull in therapy this afternoon and bundled Forrest up in his wheelchair for his first trip out of his hospital room, that didn’t involve a CT, MRI or surgery, in over two months! We decided Forrest needed to smell the rain, breathe in the energy of the approaching storm, and feel the wind on his face. So we wheeled him through the hospital, down the elevator and out to the doors leading to the gardens. We propped open the doors and welcomed in the warm wet garden smells, and a bit of rain…. We didn’t think we should take him outside just yet. So Austin ever the Brother Extraordinaire, charges out into the rain for him, climbs up onto the wall and heralds the approaching storm with a vigor that embraces our crusade. Forrest drank it all in and quietly accepted our enthusiasm for this important milestone.
Austin & I are sleeping over with Forrest in case there are power outages or flooding issues. The power actually went out at the hospital tonight while Austin was in the elevator! Fortunately he remembered how his Aunt Tricia (retired captain from the San Diego Fire Dept) told him to escape a stalled elevator and he quickly liberated himself! It’s late now. The wind and rain are pelting the windows. Forrest is tucked in for the night and is sleeping peacefully. Austin and I are keeping vigil together. The mood is cozy and safe. We are feeling blessed tonight. We are warm and dry. Forrest is safe. Our collective prayers have been answered. Forrest’s spirit is strong and we are grateful that we have been graced with this time together. We hope all our friends and family stay safe tonight and help watch over each other.
Blessed to be Forrest and Austin’s Mom