Friday, September 20, 2013

Aunt Tricia' s Message to Forrest 9/20/13

This blog is written by your amazing aunt Tricia who steadfastly supported your early recovery in the darkest of days, taking turns with Austin sitting by your bedside to keep you safe through endless hospital nights, taking care of all of your caregivers, and tirelessly moving the Team Forrest command center from hospital to hospital. It was a thrill to have her and your aunt Lobie visit this week to celebrate your progress and new accomplishments! 
With unending gratitude for the generosity of family and friends, Mum

Hey Forrest,
Last time I was here at BrightWood was almost 10 months ago. I was here for a few weeks helping out.  Back then, you still needed support to attempt walking. First we had to get you into a special seat harness with lines attached to this rolling walking crane
Fall of 2012
that hovered over you.  Then we would activate the crane's electric motor to help lift you to standing position and also take up some of your body weight as you stood.  It took all the strength you had to walk 20 steps across the Man Cave. It took 4 people to make it happen. One person faced you with your hands on their shoulders to guide you. One person had to operate and roll the crane, one person was on their knees to help you begin to lift your left foot up to initiate a step.  And a nurse was next to you to take vitals and operate suction if necessary. In the beginning, we would stop about half way across the room and the nurse would take your blood pressure and pulse. Sometimes you would need to sit down in your wheelchair, which was always close by, like a loyal tired dog. 

September 2013!
Sometimes we sat across from each other, so close our knees touched, and slowly passed a nerf ball underhand to each other. Sometimes you would miss the ball and sometimes your hand could not release the ball. I never saw you get angry, you just kept trying.  This was just a small part of your daily routine. Your physical therapy was arduous, every day, and you were always ready for more.

Then this Saturday, I watched in awe as you walked down to the side of the house to toss the football with your Uncle Clarence, your Aunt Lobie's husband. From twenty feet away, you tossed the football with Clarence for at least thirty minutes. You spiraled the ball about 95% of the time, caught almost every toss and never seemed tired of the play.

Then with your mom on one side and your nurse on the other, you walked across the pastures, unlatched four gates, and walked into the stable aisle where you were welcomed with the neighing of horses and the smell of scattered straw. Then you stood on your own, while holding Finn's lead line, as he grazed on warm September grass. 

It was a wonderful day. I continue to be amazed at your progress and grateful for all of the numerous people who have touched this family's  life as you have found your way home to us again. 
Love Aunt Tricia


  1. Those are some GREAT pictures of you and thanks Aunt Tricia for the wonderful story of some of the good times you guys shared. That picture of you getting ready to pass the football is quite the handsome shot! Well done all!!

  2. Thanks Aunt Tricia! Your wonderful words bring it to life, I can smell Finn's pasture scent and see the football fly through the air. It's ALMOST as great as being there. September in VA is a wonderful time and it's much more magical with amazing friends and family members like you, Lobie, and Clarence to share it with, thanks for writing this update! How much of a difference a year makes!


  3. Oh, Forrest, how true it is, what Austin and Trish said. Just tonight I was going through pictures on my phone before updating it, and I found pictures of the first time I came to DC and saw you when you came home from Atlanta~and many pictures of hospital visits following that, pictures of when you first came home...and oh, my, what a difference a year makes, to say the least. The air is full of hope and joy around BrightWood, and you are the source. Love you so much, bud, so super proud of you. xx

  4. I am so happy for you Forrest! You have made such great progress in this past year that it is just amazing. Give those horses a good petting and scratching for me!!


    Joyce and Wilbur Ellis in Missouri

  5. Forrest,
    It is just amazing and all the progress you have made just makes me smile every time I read a post. Keep up the great work and the picture of you with the football is awesome! I was able to meet your dad when he was here in Bolivar, told him how I have prayed for you daily. Your accomplishments thrill me!!!!!