Monday, February 20, 2012

Update: Monday, 2/24/12

UPDATE: The surgery has been moved again. It will now be in late March, roughly a month. We are very disappointed in the situation. Forrest, like the champ he is, has been fighting every day and is showing small, intermittent signs of progress, delivered each day through struggle, hard work, and his fierce determination. But he cannot make the real progress until after the prosthetic is on and his cranial environment and pressures are closer to "normal." While we are frustrated with the delay, our medical team and doctors have and continue to be terrific, and this is by no means a reflection on them. This is just a very complicated reconstructive surgery and scheduling the various parts of it has proved challenging. We will keep doing what we always do, as one of our loyal blog followers wrote, "change course and look for the open trail." We will keep helping Forrest get stronger and back to his life, one day at a time. We see Forrest's same humor in there every day, that unconquerable love for life that always drew us to him and made him the amazing friend, son, and brother he is.

All the best,
Austin & Team 44

The surgery being postponed a week has given us one more week for Forrest to keep getting stronger. The weekend brought some highlights, with Forrest trying to move his hands a couple times each day. When we did our daily brother not-so-secret secret handshake on Sunday, he was able to open his hand and slowly close it in the fistbump motion. That's a great improvement over our last couple months of handshakes!

Forrest also had some great visits from Friends, shown in the pictures below. One of the great moments from the visits was when his friend Peter told him about a Thanksgiving party Forrest threw in the basement a few years ago. Without any prompting, Forrest got this huge lopsided grin on his face. He has a long way to go, but he's trying every day and that gives us all strength. Seeing the smiles on his face when his friends talked to him shows how much time with his friends restores his morale. We hope to see some friends over spring break! We may still be at the hospital or we may be home.

The current plan is to transport to the hospital on Thursday, and put the lid back on Friday morning. We will update you all after the surgery. Thanks for all the prayers and warm thoughts.

Austin and Team 44

Montana visits and spends some "horse therapy" time with Forrest

Peter and Forrest catching up on some guy time

Forrest listens intently as Corina describes fun memories

Forrest and Super Mom breathing in fresh air by the fire pit


  1. Thinking about you all the time!
    The Elgins

  2. Ditto to the above! The photos are great - glad for the extra week - we are sending all the love and good wishes that we can for success on Friday and a swift recovery! We have missed seeing you in person, but you continue to constantly remain in our thoughts and hearts. So, with confident expectation, we send our prayers and good energy to all of you as you gear up for Friday and following. Keep trying Forrest - your resolve and resiliency are truly incredible examples for us all - hold on tight as you get over this next hurdle - we are with you in spirit all the way. With love from The Shermans

  3. Oh my....I am so sorry for the delay. We sure have our prayer people geared up to go so we will just have more time for that too. Man, sure hope it falls into place soon. I love the close up picture you posted of Forrest. Very handsome. Love you all. It is all part of the plan apparently...can't wait for the results moment!!

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about another delay on Forrest's surgery, but it will give him that much more time to gain strength for it. I know it has got to be very frustrating for all of you, but you always make the best of everything that happens. We will keep the prayers coming.

    Love, Joyce and Wilbur

  5. Forrest,

    You look so good and healthier by the blog post! Keep up the amazing fight! You are a hero!

    WE love you!
    kelly and family

  6. Thank you for keeping us updated, Austin. While another delay is disappointing, it is reassuring that the medical team wants to be sure that all conditions are optimal for a perfect surgery and FULL recovery. It feels like Forrest is preparing for a NASA mission, and we know how important it is for every system to be perfect with no margin for error for those equally delicate operations. So, continue to feed him those rich protein smoothies, exercise and stretch his muscles, share your handshakes, challenge his thinking, and make music together. I bet he'll gain some more pounds between now and March 21st and be much stronger and more resilient for "blast off."
    Love to the whole team,
    Diane and Jay

  7. Forrest and Team 44,
    Try not to be discouraged by the most recent delay in Forrest surgery. The more time he at home surrounded by your love and eating Rae's good smoothies is going to make Forrest stronger and healthier to face his last surgery.
    The Selfes

  8. Forrest, Kent, Rae and Austin,
    Sorry to hear about the delay-we were all so excited for you. I am glad though that the surgery is being scheduled so it will end up "just right". I love the progress you can see in the pictures-Forrest looks happier and I can see the difference the "home-cooking/blending" is making. Just think when you all come back home from the hospital next month spring will be in full bloom and coming home will be both wonderful and beautiful!! Good Luck and I hope music therapy continues to be as much fun and as helpful as it sounds. Love, Aunt Bev and all of us in Arizoan

  9. Sad to hear you won't be back at NRH in the next weeks, but I will make sure to keep *your room* ready for when everything is set and in place for the surgery...we are getting it right this time- so like said above, a delay is more time to prepare and be really ready!!! Forrest, keep being the strong, hard worker that I know and see in these pictures- you are looking great! And the same to the rest of the amazing team 44...hope to make it up to "BrightWood Rehab" soon!!!!
    <3 Sarah

  10. Seeing Forrest last weekend was awesome! I got a fist bump at the end of the evening and it made my day. I loved getting to hang out watching the fish in the tank and telling stories. I was so impressed that you were sitting up for so long, 44. Keep up the hard work!!! I'll be home to visit again soon! It was also great to see Austin, Rae and Kent. All my love to the family! xoxo Corina