Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Surgery 12/25/13

Unfortunately the comeback kid is going to have to comeback again.  Due to a series of setbacks and a recent infection Forrest titanium cranial prostheses ( the lid ) had to be removed today.  He will have a PICC line put in his arm again and will get antibiotics for a prolonged period of time and will have a short term drain placed until he is recovered from the infection .
We appreciate both his neurosurgeon and his plastic surgeon coming in and leaving their families on Christmas to operate on Forrest.
Austin and Aunt Tricia doing whatever needs done are here with us at Washington Hospital Center with Grandma Norma standing by with cousin Lee and Lisa in Reston waiting til he can have visitors.
Mum is going thru his medication schedule for the umpteenth time with the ICU nurses to make sure the med charts are correct. Luckily we have a nurse we know and who knows and loves Forrest taking care of him and that makes life easier.  Life is once again measured by shift changes.

Mum writes:

Thank for the messages and love this morning. Forrest is out of surgery. They found infection under the plate when they removed it. His CSF and brain do not appear to be infected so we believe, as hard as it is to part with his plate, it was the right decision. We are back in ICU and he has spoken his name , the hospital name, the correct date and offered his characteristic thumbs up.  He is resting now, on enough pain meds to float a big horse. If he can avoid complications,  we hope to be out of ICU in a day or two and he will be able to enjoy some visitors Much love. Rae

So we would much prefer not to be here again.  It's like being in a loop of the movie "Groundhog Day", again and again.  He is such a trooper and hardly ever complains despite the pain, hardship and struggles he endures.
The Doctors assure us that all these particular problems are related to the number of procedures his poor scalp has endured and the resultant lack of circulation.  There are treatments and procedures to address this but they are increasingly more risky and prone to complications and failure which is why they haven't been attempted yet.
We hope that this cranioplasty removal won't set him back significantly like the last one did.
So this Christmas finds us disappointed and somewhat depressed that we are here again.  But we are hopeful and encouraged that he is alive and in a position to make progress again. So thanks for prayers and words of encouragement and well wishes and messages from friends.  With this current turn of events we will try to update the blog and Facebook frequently.
Kent and Rae and Team 44

While we waited for surgery, the whole family had a magical Christmas morning, with Forrest and Austin reading out our favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons and singing Christmas songs

Forrest in the ICU after this morning's surgery with Pops watching over him

Familiar nurses are here to take excellent care of Forrest in the ICU, with Mum collaborating closely on treatment plans


  1. So sorry for the it is only another bump in the road...he will find a detour and come out the other side...all my positive thoughts for his speedy recovery....Team 44 stay strong, support each other and Forrest...he will triumph again.. there are so many people rallying for him he is sure to feel the, Sharon.

  2. What another tough time for your family. But we believe in miracles, and having Forrest with us is one. He has come back again and again, and we have no doubt he will continue until he is safely through this bump. God bless you all. We love you, and are sending prayers and positive thoughts to Forrest and his generous doctors, nurses and team 44. Thank you so much for these posts.

    Jim and Gail

  3. As I said yesterday, the home fires will be kept burning, awaiting your return~and we will be ready to welcome you back with open arms and whatever it takes, whatever you need. Rest easy tonight, Forrest, know that you are so very loved.

  4. Forrest and Team 44,
    What a tough turn of events. Forrest, yours is not a path covered in flowers and firm footing but in rocks, thorns, and seemingly nothing but an uphill-clawing-for-every-step-climb. Though I know this is a real disappointment, I have no doubt that you will scratch your way back just as you have every time. Your determination and can-do attitude inspires us all. You are harder than woodpecker lips. Hang tough. I think of you many times every day and am awed by the example you set for us all. Hang tough and keep moving forward.

    With love and admiration,
    Uncle John

  5. So sorry to hear of the temporary setbacks this Christmas, but we are praying that they are just that...temporary. May the prayers comfort all of you and give Forrest a speedy recovery.

    Love, Troy, Jessica, Camden and Hudson Lauterbach

  6. Our hearts are with you.....I really lack for words right now. Prayers, hugs, concern...hope you feel it across the miles. Love you guys.

  7. Hold on to the knowledge that a miracle lives in every moment and Forrest is pure proof of that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am adding my prayers and positive thoughts to the many and truly believe that will speed recovery !!!!!!! There is nothing stronger than love and Forrest is blessed with tons of it in his life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay strong and love each other too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. With each breath in and each breath out, you are in our thoughts and prayers on this Christmas night.
    Love, Diane and Jay

  9. Oh Forrest, I am so sorry. Not a fun way to spend Christmas! Close your eyes and feel this hug being sent your way------

  10. You are all in our thoughts as your incredible strength and perseverance are once again challenged. John put it well when he said you are harder than a woodpecker's beak. Strong energy and positive vibes being sent you from all the Packards. Ted will bow his banjo tonight just for you....maybe it will be his rendition of Happy Birthday for Austin with some Forrest type embellishments.....

  11. We are all praying for all of you back here in MO. So very sorry about this turn of events but he is so strong and such a fighter and we know he will fight his way back once again. Much love from the Prestons.

  12. We are so sorry that you had to endure yet another surgery, Forrest, and that your famous "lid" had to be removed again. I have some Titanium in my neck connecting 3 of my vertebrae, and it has served me very well since 2007, so I was hoping your Titanium lid would serve you just as well. You continue to be in our prayers, and we're looking forward to the day when you "breeze" out of there again! I know you can do it!!

    Love and Prayers,

    Joyce and Wilbur Ellis in Missouri.

  13. As neighbors and friends who love you dearly, this is a hard one to swallow on your behalf. It has me personally scratching my head and asking our Father in heaven to explain. But, I am reminded time and time again, that he only sends us good things and always stands ready to work the boulders that the world places in our paths to our good. So, I am on my knees again on behalf of your precious boy. And all of you. Keep the faith dear ones, and your tirelessly positive attitudes. Once again, you inspire all who know you. I pray that the plan unfolds seemlessly in the coming days, and that Forrest's incredible surgical team enjoys divine inspiration as they chart what we pray will be his final prosthetic replacement and successful scar revision. We love you all dearly. Jim, Shannon, Meg, Kara & Brett and Charlotte. xoxo

  14. Forrest...
    You are uppermost in our hearts and minds....along with your amazing team. You are blessed with Stone and Allen genes, a formidable cocktail, that will keep you fighting your way forward. You are the champ and you will prevail! We love you and admire you so much have an unquenchable spirit! We hope to see you in person in January.
    Love Aunt Lobie and Uncle Clarence

  15. Hang in there Forrest! You will pull through this stronger and healthier than ever! We believe in you and your entire team! You are surrounded by so many people who love you and are praying for your health and sending good vibrations your way! May God bless you all!
    Love and hugs from the Rafferty Family

  16. Forrest and Team 44,
    You are in our thoughts and prayers everyday. We are so grateful for the updates and praying for smoother sailing ahead. Keep up your wonderful positive attitudes. Sending you all big hugs!
    Lots of Love,
    Colleen and Richard