Monday, January 16, 2012

Update: Monday 1/16/2012

Truly, there is no place like home. The days & nights are flying by, filled with new challenges, powerful moments, & small victories. Forrest is clearly gaining strength from being home, surrounded by friends, family, pets and familiar surroundings. We continue to struggle with staffing gaps, as he requires 24/7 skilled nursing support, but we have found a few talented and compassionate nurses. And when they are here we all breathe a little easier.

The week was brightened by many of Forrest's wonderful friends. They continue their unfaltering belief in Forrest's ability to recover. They give him strength to push on when his muscles are screaming and he can't see the path ahead. Often under Austin's guidance, they participate in his daily therapy. They make it possible to get him out of bed twice daily, physically supporting his lanky frame as he battles contracted tendons to stand upright. On a good day now, once we have helped him stand upright, he can raise his own head and hold it high while a friend challenges him to regain his equilibrium, following their voices, turning left and right again and again. They recount shared moments with humor & add color to his life. In spite of a dozen different medications, he still struggles with endless hours of muscle cramps and spasms, but with his friends nearby, his smile comes more easily, his eyes are brighter, and his demeanor more relaxed.

When the weather and staffing permits, we are making short trips in his new Team Forrest Mobile, building up his endurance as he battles a strange kind of frightening vertigo. Our goal is to be able to safely transport Forrest back to NRH for his first evaluation in his own van, without requiring an ambulance transport.

This week-end was the first anniversary of Forrest's injury. We are all still haunted by memories of Forrest before...The impact is incompressible. But he is very much " still there". Still able to smile, still fighting to rebuild his life. Just this week-end he was able to give his amazing brother a faint but definitive fistbump. And so Forrest has "weighed in". He clearly chooses life. Like his brother and his father, he is a warrior. They do not shrink from the monumental task ahead, they tackle each day head on for as long as it takes until they are victorious.

With love & gratitude from BrightWood,
Below are a few highlights from the week.

Forrest enjoys paintball therapy with Gio, Shayna, and Nurse Zaineb as Sundance cheers.

"I get by with a little help from my friends (and Pops)."

Making music with Tom, Matt, and Michael.

Forrest finds his way with musical therapists Abigail and Tom.


  1. Hi Team 44.. Could you email me at with your contact information? I am aware of a couple of excellent nurses that could help you.
    Andrew Motion
    PS: Stay strong Forrest! Great to see these pictures of you enjoying being home!!

  2. I'm so glad to get this good update!! Sounds like things are going well on the home front. Still praying for you every day, Forrest.


    Wilbur and Joyce

  3. What a great update from home. It's so amazing to see all the friends who are surrounding you Forrest! I will be praying you muscle craps and vertigo cease soon.

    Keep Fighting!

    With Love,
    Kelly and Family

  4. My Man!!!

    So glad to see your back at home! I can't wait for swimming season to be over so I can come down and visit!
    Johnboy is doing really well. His Navy Squash team knocked off the 12th ranked team in the nation this week!
    As always, working hard and swimming fast with 44 in my heart.

    Keep Smiling Brother,

  5. Love, love, love the home updates. Praying for continued forward motion. Specifically for the nursing needs to be answered quickly and with expertise! Thank you for remaining such a wonderful example of persevering love.

    Donna, Owen, et al

  6. Amazing. We are all truly blessed to receive these updates. Oh how fortunate you all are to have each other. Seeing Forrest at home takes all the chill out of winter. Knowing he is safe and loved and making progress one fist bump at a time is incredibly heart warming. Thank you to all of Team 44 for including us in this journey. Warm regards, The Laughlin Family