Sunday, September 18, 2011

Update: Sunday, 9/18/11

Along with the therapists and nursing staff at NRH, we are amazed and deeply touched by the outpouring of support for our TEAM FORREST 5 K Race Walk & Wheel Team on next Sunday,
September 25th at Tysons Corner. Although we have surpassed our original goal, we are continuing to raise money for the adaptive sports program at NRH. Please see the link in the sidebar and come join TEAM FORREST!

Forrest has had a good week, highlighted by his first steps between the parallel bars and slow but deliberate movements of his hands and arms. Sunday is a quiet day with no scheduled therapy. He watched football with his Dad and we did passive range of motion exercises. He is still having some tremors that we are adjusting his medications for. Later this afternoon, he enjoyed a visit from his good friend and former nanny of ten years, Mita Santos, and a spirited balloon fight with everyone including Sundance joining in. A truly amazing moment came at the end of Mita’s visit when we decided to sit him up on the side of the bed. He did that and then with help and support he carefully stood up. After a few minutes we sat him back down and thought we were done. But he sat for a minute and then initiated standing (with assistance) not once more but twice. He was very tired afterwards but clearly he wants to stand, walk and move as he attempts to come back to us.

Mom had a busy week covering with Maylin while Austin attended a business conference in Atlanta. She worked hard but got to see some great efforts from Forrest this week. She also had several girlfriends come into D.C. to help out and sometimes take her to lunch and provide her with an important link to Middleburg. Austin rolled back into town on Saturday and immediately got to work helping his brother out and acting as a great secondary therapist. Dad’s job is as usual is to spend time on the weekends and give Rae and Austin some breaks and provide Forrest with some Dadtime.

Another high point of the weekend was the visit of Hunt Lyman, Forrest’s seventh grade teacher at Hill School. He read several essay’s from Hill School students and then recited several powerful poems that he thought 44 might be interested in. Forrest listened intently as he struggled to regain control of his body. We were all moved by his delivery of “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. It was written by a 18th century young Englishman who at 17 had spent much time in hospitals and had most of one leg amputated due to Tuberculosis of the bone. He struggled with his disability but wrote this poem about courage and stoicism nine years later. He went on to be an accomplished poet and editor in London until he died at age 53.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

We have no doubt that with Forrest’s determination, courage and undaunted spirit he will calm the currents of his mind and recapture the life he is meant to live.


The family together standing strong

Mita Santos with Forrest

Hunt Lyman reciting Invictus to Forrest


  1. Hi Forrest and Team 44. What a wonderful blog today!! We are so glad to hear that things are going so well! The balloon fight sounds like it might have gotten just a tiny bit rowdy! (Wish I'd been there! He He) And, Forrest, the fact that you stood 3 times while Mita was there is just fabulous!

    Wilbur and I went to our very first Professional Bull Riding Event this evening in Springfield, Mo. I'm the one who is really into watching the PBR on TV each weekend, but Wilbur decided he wanted to go with me. We had a ball! I just can't believe the power of those bulls!

    Anyway, keep up the good work!!

    Love and Prayers,

    Wilbur and Joyce

  2. Hi there Forrest! It was sooooooooooooo good to see you today, bud! You are doing so well and am so proud of you! I was privileged to watch you stood up several times and giggle because Austin could not blow up a balloon chewing a gum... LOL! That was too funny! I loved the fist bump you gave me and the "welcome hug" and the "see you later hug" you gave me :-) Keep it up buddy! I know you can do it. I cannot wait to see you again, maybe back at the farm!? I love you and loved seeing you and spending time with you today. I will be at the 5K race this Sunday and support Team 44! Good night, bud and have a restful night! Mita

  3. Hi Forrest, I think the pictures say it all... the pride and happiness in the faces of Mom, Dad, and Austin as they look up at you, and the smiles of Mita & Austin as you sit tall and proud, captures what we all feel when we see such determination and success in your return. We are so happy to see great progress....keep it up. Hugs & prayers continue to be sent. Cheers,Viki, Rick, Mandie & Ryan

  4. What a rich tribute to the past week of triumphs and heros.

    These beautiful posts always bring me to tears.

    I am in awe of the family love that you have for another.

    I am humbled by Forrest's ENORMOUS will to return and the exhaustive effort that he puts forth in coming back.

    I am grateful for Hill and our incredible Middleburg community and the love we feel for one of our own.

    One line of this incredible poem leapt out to me in describing Forrest - "my unconquerable soul."

    He has been stoic and uncomplaining and his precious soul is indeed unconquerable by the accident and this recovery period.

    The blog is the written affirmation of a miracle unfolding.

    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey with us.


  5. So happy for your steady progress! Such a meaningful poem, indeed.... and all the more inspiring as recited by Hunt! You all look wonderful and we continue to send prayers for your continued recovery.
    Mark, Betsy & Lauren Davis

  6. Thank you for sharing your stories, and for the inspiration from that poem.

    Forrest, you are a real life superman, and we are so happy and proud to see your progress.

    We think of you everyday, and send our love and hugs to you all.

    Holli, Moses and Ormsby Thompson

  7. always thinking about you, forrest
    stay strong
    love, liza rizzo