Thursday, December 1, 2011

Update: Thursday, 12/1/11

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!

Mom at work. Taking water samples in Southeast Asia


  1. Hurray for hugs....and fist bumps. More to come--I'm sure of it. So many are in your corner too Forrest. Love to all.

  2. Forrest
    We join team 44 in your corner cheering you back to all of us!
    The Selfes

  3. Forrest, I just want to let you know that I wore my newly purchased "Team Forrest" cap proudly this morning on my very brisk walk with our dog. I am trying to get back into an exercise routine - if I can do it - surely you can!!! I was walking for you, talking to my dog about you, and sending many prayers and wishes your way! You will make it over this hurdle and be back on your way to recovery. You are a champ and a fighter. Keep pushing - you can do it!

    Love, Hugs, and Prayers from the Rafferty Family

  4. Hi Forrest,
    I've been wondering what you've been up to. I'm sure you're glad to be back at NRH, and I pray that there will be NO SETBACKS this time! Keep up the good work!
    Love and Prayers,

    Wilbur and Joyce Ellis

  5. Despite the difficulty, "slow and steady progress" are very encouraging words and we are glad. Hoping things progress forward smoothly in the time ahead and that pretty soon you will find yourselves involved in rehab at home in the new space that sounds just great! We think of you all constantly and pray for renewed healing and strength especially for you, Forrest, as you continue to redefine with expanded meaning the word "Champ." Sending our love, the Shermans

  6. Our family has been closely monitoring yours through the blog, updates from Austin to Meg, a visit with the Lee's after their morning with Forrest and in conversations all over our wonderful town - we are drawn to one another when spotted wearing our "Team Forrest" hats of late. I'm proud to say that we have sold nearly $800 worth of hats including a few more yesterday after the hunt. I loved looking around the sunny, fire-lit living room of the Bishop's and seeing so many heads covered by Forrest's name.

    Some random thoughts - the picture above of Maylin and Forrest is simply precious. What a dear young woman so obviously devoted to Forrest and drawing him toward his life.

    Rae kneeling alongside her work so many thousands of miles from her true "heart" - that of her family. We have prayed for traveling mercies for Rae and can only imagine how hard it must be to be away for even a day of work, never mind nearly a week.

    Kent - aka Super Dad. Your resolve and candor resonate throughout this post. Please know that we offer special prayers for your strength, along with prayers for strength for Rae and Austin and your incredible extended family. We pray that you are rewarded with signs of continued progress, no matter how small, and that your hope remain kindled by steps small, and please God, large.

    I pray that Forrest remains infection free. That he can regain his strength and stamina such that he can come home to his own environment to continue his recovery before the next surgery.

    More random stuff - Jim and I attended the Christmas concert Tom Sweitzer held on Friday night. We witnessed miracle after miracle of children joyously, and bravely performing in front of a packed audience - many of these kids initially came to Tom unable to speak. And here they were BELTING out Christmas songs. It was stunning. We laughed and cried our way through the performance watching the special combination of Tom and music work its magic on these young people.

    Just before the concert, I went to Rae's office about 5:30 in search of more hats. I had spoken to Rebekkah about where to go. I walked in the door and didn't immediately see anyone and called out "hello!" I heard a soft "hello" in reply and wondered back into the office to find the source of the voice. I went through each office. No one. I called out, "hello" again and once again, heard a soft "hello" in response. Utterly spooked by this time, I sped to the front door and saw a large box and decided to look inside in the hope that the hats were there. They were! I thought, I'll just grab about 15-20 hats and call Rebekkah later. While rummaging, the back door of the office opened and two women came in wondering who the heck was this tall, terrified woman rifling through a box. I explained myself and was then introduced to a lovely parrot in the front office corner who obediently responded "hello" when I told them my story. We all had a good laugh.

    It's a beautiful Sunday. I hope that Kent, Austin and Forrest are enjoying some "guy" time today and perhaps catching the Redskins game. I learned from sweet Marcia Woolman about making up some homemade meals for you all on Fridays. I am eager to join this team as are many others.

    We think of and pray for your family constantly. There is a huge team of prayer warrior's in my family, network of FB friends and my scripture class that ask after and prayer for you all daily. I hope that you can feel our love and support.

    Much Love and continued prayer,
    Shannon et al.

  7. My first post was so long, I had to include this in the second!

    I found a poem (below) that was meaningful to me and not just because I'm a contractor's wife (see concrete!), but it keenly reflected the task that is before Forrest and all of you.

    You are helping Forrest construct a bridge back to his life. It's slow going, and seemingly takes such small steps as to be inconsequential, but you are not "spanning empty space." You are reaching for a new shore. And we get to witness and learn while you do it.

    It Takes Time To Heal
    Ted Hibbard

    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.

  8. Dear Team 44,
    We all went to the Middleburg Parade yesterday. The weather was beautiful and the sights were fantastic. When I saw the Hill School float I thought of you Forrest and how much I wished you could have been there. There were a troup of Polo players of all ages. And Mexican Vaqueros spinning lassos. Bands ranged from bag pippers to fife and drums and high school bands. Of course there were the fire trucks, both young and old, police on motorcycles and old Triumphs and MG's. But as always, my favorite is the Corgi Corps- we numbered around 50 or so. My Doodle went as a Christmas tree and Wrigley was an elf. This year the Great Pyranees were in strong numbers also. A really fun day for all of us.
    Keep you eyes on the prize and we all pray you will be home really soon.
    Take Care
    Paula Horne

  9. Thanks for keeping the blog updated so well. We are following the journey and praying all the way!

    Lots of love,
    The Jensens

    Forrest I'm so amazed by your positive attitude through it all! You are an amazing young man. May God bless you!

  10. Hi Forrest, Rae, Kent and Family - Let me introduce myself... (pay attention - this may get dicey). I know Shannon Davis through her daughter Kara - who is marrying one of our dear family friend's son, Brett Molenaar! Phew! Shannon and I became FB friends a few months ago and I came upon your Blog.

    I have been captivated ever since. For two reasons - one, my husband was in a severe accident six years go. Long drawn out story however, we did go through months and even several years of struggle, rehab, meds, relapses, victories, defeats...and pretty soon there were way more victories than defeats. Six plus years later he is leading a productive life... with a few limitations.

    And the second reason is that I have fallen in love with Forrest! Gallant, brave, courageous and a true fighter! I am sure he does not always feel like it - but the fact that he is taking on the daily "fight" speaks volumes!!! Wow!

    Well then... I just wanted you to know that even though we have not met. ALL OF YOU have a place in my heart. I pray daily for your family because I know the toll that it can have... oh, I really do! I have also lit candles for dear Forrest.

    May this season of miracles be so very blessed to you and your dear family... and may God's reach touch each one of you and give you some hard earned peace! Even for just a moment!

    With great respect and admirations, Susan Kenney

  11. This is the season of miracles and we are sending all our energy in your direction! I am thinking that 2012 will find you back at home surrounded by your family and friends. Keep up your indomitable spirit! With Love, The Hostas

  12. Forrest,I was home in bed yesterday with a bad cold and spent the day (off and on) watching some great "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movies. I was reminded of all of the wonderful miracles that can happen not only this time of year, but all year. It reminded me that these miracles happen all around us every day... we just have to open our eyes and hearts to see them. You and your family are one of these miracles and I know that you will continue to get better. As I read all of these posts, I understand how these miracles can happen... the power of prayer, hope, love and encouragement are all part of it and you certainly have been blessed with enourmous amounts of it! May you and your family continue to be lifted by all of this love and keep moving forward.
    Sending much love and prayers, Betsy, Mark & Lauren Davis

  13. Thoughts are being sent your way and prayers sent heavenward that you may have hope and thereby experience peace that God is in control...and miracles are occurring everyday as being witnessed by the progress Forrest is making...smiles and fist bumps! YES!! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13