To start off todays update, we want to introduce you to Team 44 member, Tami Erickson. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting Tami, she is the newest full-time member of the team and has become an integral part of Forrest's core team. Tami makes things happen for Forrest. She follows up on the many therapy sessions Forrest goes through and creates new ways for him to practice word identification, physical therapy, and music therapy as well as making smoothies and making sure we don't run out of crucial supplies for 44. Most of all...Tami believes in Forrest. She encourages and challenges him in ways that only she can. Thanks Tami.
Forrest continues to work hard at home. Just yesterday, with assistance and a lot of encouragement, he did ten squats on the tilt table! He continues to regain control of his hands but struggles when trying to move his arms and legs. He still fights the tone that makes it difficult for him to reach his hands to his head or gain fine motor control of his fingers. But he continues to try every day and so is slowly making progress on all fronts.
His days continue to be filled with speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and activities that Team 44 create for him. He is still on a large amount of medication and continues to be at risk for throwing up and pneumonia.
Certainly the most fun Forrest enjoys is regular visits from his friends, since summer has arrived and they are back from school. We would like to thank you all for coming on a regular basis as your presence has reinvigorated his spirit and lightened his daily burden. Thanks especially to Nick who helped organize the gang so that Forrest has a friend to look forward to each day. He also enjoys moments of standup comedy and bloopers on YouTube as well as interesting movies with his team of nurses, therapist's, friends and family. All of these things can bring a smile to his face. Sometimes he's just too tired to smile but given enough time and encouragement, the good old Forrest smile always comes back. We also want to thank Sarah for visiting him. Sarah had helped Forrest as his occupational therapist at NRH for months and saw him through really difficult times there. She moved out of state but flew in to visit him for a few days last week. She gave us new insights and encouragement. She was excited to see his progress since coming home and was enthusiastic about his potential for future progress.
Mom, as always, keeps up with Forrest's therapy, medical scheduling and generally everything that is involved with him. She occasionally gets on a horse to keep her mental and physical balance. Austin is working hard in D.C. as a consultant to a construction project at the National Zoo and then comes out for long weekends and continues to help and encourage his bro. Someday we hope to report to you about Forrest walking, talking, eating and heading out with his friends.... But right now it's slow, sometimes unsteady, small steps that keep him headed toward the big ones. We know he will do all of these things again one day and that belief keeps us all focused on what we can do now to get one day closer.
With much appreciation to all his friends and fans out there,
Sincerely, Dad and Team 44
Tami always encourages Forrest to try something new every day