Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
We are urgently looking for LPNs (licensed practical nurses) or RNs (registered nurses) to help us for the next 4-6 weeks while Forrest is at home. They need to be happy positive individuals, have experience, reliable transportation and ideally live not too far from The Plains. (Apparently we are considered to be too "rural" for most nurses!) Valerie Lee has graciously offered to be the point person for us, so please email her at Valerie@theleeclinic.com if you have a lead for us!
Austin and Maylin are working feverishly to put things together for the move. There is a lot of work to be done to move Team 44 from DC to Brightwood. Austin will still be working on his consulting job at the National Zoo Seal and Sea Lion construction project and will be spending half the week or as much time as possible with Forrest at the farm. Maylin will continue to do all things for Team 44, she will now be doing most of it at Brightwood until we move back to DC for the surgery for a while.
Jimmy Emmett and crew have been working tirelessly to ready the Man Cave for Forrest. Jimmy is downstairs painting as I write to make sure things are ready for our boy. It is very impressive and we will make sure we post some pictures as soon as the long awaited Forrest arrives.
Dad and the crew at VEI have been working on making sure we have all of the tools we need to take care of Forrest. His new electric bed has arrived at Brightwood and is the Ferrari of beds, way cool!
Forrest is trying so hard is and making slow but steady progress. We are excited to have him coming home and think it will do wonders for his spirit which continues fighting to soar no matter what obstacles are thrown at him. Forrest this year has faced more struggles and challenges than any twenty of us have in most of our lives. He has never given up even though he wakes up every morning to pain and the knowledge of what he has lost and how far he has to go to try to get back to where he was at any point this year. We thank all of you for staying with him and us through this struggle to have our boy back. So, Home for the Holidays, we can’t wait to have both our boys and our family back to Brightwood.
Dad and Team 44
Gio and Shayna drove to Brightwood to decorate our tree and Forrest's mancave with Caroline before coming to visit Forrest
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
It's time to bring you home to BrightWood Forrest, in preparation for your next and God willing last surgery, to regain your strength, to reconnect with familiar surroundings and the community that we all sorely miss. Team 44 is working feverishly around the clock to get you home for Christmas. You have to be "medically stable" and we have to amass a plethora of equipment and supplies to keep you safe and comfortable at home. This week you will undergo a variety of lab tests, a cat scan, radiographs, and another series of Botox injections under general anesthesia to relieve the muscle contractions that hobble your progress. Consultations with your team of specialists; physiatrists, neurosurgeons, nurses, as well as speech, physical & occupational therapists will help us fine tune our medical & logistical plans. We are determined. We are convinced that the healing power of being home with friends and your extended BrightWood family will brighten your days and reinvigorate your recovery!
We have so much to be grateful for, Forrest. So many talented and compassionate people have embraced your journey, amazing doctors, innovative therapists, delightful nurses, dedicated friends and colleagues. We are a blessed family. We are with you every step of the way. And together we are coming home. I will read the poem below that Shannon sent to you every day, while you are building the bridge that will carry you across the abyss, to a new shore and a new beginning.
Wishing all who have offered their love and support a joyous Christmas and Healthy Loving New Year,
It Takes Time To Heal
It takes time to heal.
Build a bridge
from now to tomorrow.
Sink the piers
deep into the Earth.
Pour in concrete
day by day,
a little at a time,
and let it set.
It takes time to heal.
It may feel very awkward,
as if you're making empty promises,
as if you're simply spanning empty space.
But someday, somehow, somewhere,
you'll find yourself
upon a brand new shore,
glancing back at the bridge
which you alone have built.
It takes time to heal.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Forrest continues to fight back. He has been back at NRH struggling to get back into the rehab therapy schedule. After fighting infections and laying in a bed for 6 weeks he is working hard to get back into a wheelchair and doing various types of therapy for several hours each day. He is very deconditioned and perilously low on reserves after 10 and ½ months in hospitals. The longer he can stay up even in a chair and keep working on therapy the more he can make the effort to return to us. He keeps trying every day no matter how hard of a day he is having.
Over the last few days we have seen slow but steady progress. He made an effort at a fist bump with one of his therapists Tuesday and tonight made an effort to hug Maylin. He continues to smile and occasionally chuckle at movies and videos or even better visits from classmates and friends. He truly enjoyed visits from The Weeden clan. Madison Lee and Matt MacMahon came by and spent time with him and Austin has told me that he thought a large part of 44’s enjoyment has been visiting with his friends.
Team Forrest has been working hard to keep an eye on our guy with Mom working on a project a long way away and skyping with 44 when she can. Maylin is working hard and keeping us organized and making smoothies for Forrest as well as sitting with him for hours a day. Austin is doing his usual phenomenal job at NRH and the National Zoo. He covers everything from part time physical therapist to smoothie maker expert to discussing Forrest’s case with the phenomenal NRH Doc’s and nurses. Dad is coming in more to cover for Mom and we continue to work here at the farm to prepare for Forrest’s arrival whenever that may be.
Thanksgiving was made memorable with visits from all of Forrest’s Stone-side Aunts and Uncles and family and the Lee family watching over Forrest on Saturday so Kent, Rae and Austin could cook for them at the farm. Thanks Bill and Valerie and Stone Clan.
Forrest continues to make superhuman efforts to return yet again even though some days that progress is measured in inches. The rest of us are supporting characters to the champ who won’t stay down no matter how many times he gets knocked about. Keep coming back Buddy we are all in your corner.
Thanks for your patience and for following Forrest’s blog.
Dad and Austin and Team 44
Forrest working hard and reaching up to give Maylin a hug!