Monday, January 27, 2014

Forrest & Del are Unstoppable! 1/27/14

Forrest is Back in the home gym giving his all for extraordinary PT Del! Together, step by step with their special camaraderie, they are regaining Forrest's balance, strength and endurance. 

Never Give Up !
Never Surender! 
Go 44 !

We remain forever grateful for Del's unparalleled skill as a physical therapist, his contagious enthusiasm, and his unshakable faith in Forrest's full recovery... no matter how many detours we take.

With a hopeful heart,


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First "Dive" Today! 1/21/14

Hey Champ, it's your Mum. Today you began hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in hopes of, once and for all, ridding your body of the recurrent infections and wound breakdown that have plagued you.  A doctor once told us that "nothing we try with Forrest is for free" reminding us that in complex TBI cases, every treatment comes with some level of risk. With HBOT as you reach the greater pressures, you are at a increasing risk of seizures during the "dive" due to a neurological sensitivity to oxygen "toxicity".  As usual, nothing frightens you and you offered your characteristic thumbs up to reassure me as you slid into the chamber!  But the hour-long procedure is a little nerve-racking for us because, if you should have a seizure they cannot safely open the chamber until the pressures are normalized.  But you came through smiling and your dive experience paid off today too.  You did not have any trouble clearing your ears and normalizing the pressures. If you continue to tolerate the procedure, over the next few days the pressures will gradually be increased to a point that is known to successfully encourage revascularization of devitalized tissue and to treat chronic infections. We are hopeful that you will continue without any side effects and will be able to complete the course of treatment which is five hour long "dives" a week for 4 to 8 weeks. 

No... it's not quite the same experience as our family dives on the great barrier reef, but we are hoping and praying that it will be a productive and healing journey for the Comeback Kid! 

Wishing you all a 
Healthy and Joyful New Year, 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Three Years 1/14/14

Three long years...
Forest continues to fight the good fight. While it has been three years today since his injury he continues to progress and try harder every day.  He is still at home and studying for his history final.  We monitor his scalp for signs of break down and are considering hyperbaric oxygen therapy on the advice of his neurosurgeon.  We appreciate all his friends who contact him on a regular basis and keep his spirits up.
Gio and Shayna dropped by the other day and his spirits picked up immensely.  So we soldier on and especially our favorite soldier in the world Forrest. He has the heart of a Lion and continues to fight every day. Three years,10 years,whatever it takes we will get there. Dad and team 44

Friday, January 3, 2014


Yesterday afternoon, Forrest and his entourage departed Washington Hospital Center and journeyed home to snowy BrightWood.  Forrest is receiving IV antibiotics around the clock and has family members staying with him at all times.  Balance continues to be an issue as his body adjusts to life without his "lid".  He is anemic, has lost ten pounds and tires easily.  We are so thankful for the countless prayers, caring texts, phone calls and visitors that helped us bring him home again. Tonight his spirits were visibly lifted when multiple visitors stopped by the ManCave to welcome The Champ home.  Music and laughter filled BrightWood as Forrest played guitar and sang with Hunt and Sue Lyman, friends Nick and Peyton, Austin and Grandmom Norma.  So tonight the stars shine a little brighter and laughter sounds a little sweeter as we fill the house with healing love and energy...thankful for Forrest's unfailing courage and perseverance.

With Gratitude,
Team Forrest

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Long December 1/1/13

"It's been a long December and there's reason to believe that maybe next year will be better than the last.
The smell of hospitals in winter and the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters but no pearls."
Words from a song

We have spent Thanksgiving, his Birthday and Christmas doing emergency surgeries on Forrest.  No one is more tired of it than Forrest.  But he always has a smile and a funny comment for you when you walk in the room.
This has been a rugged holiday season for Team 44. While we have lost the third lid and it is certainly devastating and very concerning on how we go forward, we also have to admit that he is doing much better than he ever was prior to and after the previous cranioplasty removals.

There are concerns on the infection, what future cranioplasty will have to done and what skin transplantation will have to be done to try and assure a more successful outcome.  We worry about the PICC line, suture breakdown and side effects from the antibiotics. We are monitoring the effects atmospheric pressure will have on his brain without the protection of a cranial cover.  It will be some months before the infection is completely under control. After that the appropriate skin procedure can be done and the appropriate cranioplasty repair will be reselected.  There will be more research and discussions and visiting with experts in this area. Forrest has entered a rarified few that have lost their cranioplasty this many times. He also is one of the few that have come so far and made so much progress. We are determined not to lose that progress. We are dedicated to making sure the next cranioplasty will be the last one.

On the positive side we are grateful that he had a great party with his friends and enjoyed it immensely.  He is strong and healthy, eating on his own and walking and talking.  He is still the Forrest we know and love and he makes a huge effort every day to make forward strides, both physically and intellectually.
With any luck we are checking out of the hospital and going home. He is anxious to have dad's cooking instead of hospital food. But this afternoon he was quite happy to have a slice of pepperoni pizza as a substitute.
He continues to have a great attitude and approach to rehabilitation even though he is certainly tired of being operated upon and told what to do constantly. He has smiles for those around him and an enduring optimism that few of us who have been through anything remotely similar can match.  He is certainly forgiven the odd cross word that comes with the pain he deals with on his part.  He is being watched carefully by those around him and we continue to make progress in many different areas of rehabilitation even without the cranium.
So we continue to hang on to the hope that next year will be better than the last. We know this in our hearts and we continue to make it happen with words prayers and actions around Forrest and with him.  Thank you, Team 44, friends, family and well wishers.  We will make 2014 better.

Watching Cartoons
Up and walking the hall together