Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Recap and Surgery Preview

Angel, Gio, Shayna and 44 at King Pinz
Dear family, friends and incredible support team,

It's been a wonderful summer. Knowing Forrest has the first of several major surgeries scheduled August 27 at Johns Hopkins, we crammed as much quality time as we could into the past few months.  Family trips to Bermuda and the Outer Banks reaffirmed our belief that, as Forrest says, "Anything is possible!"

Forrest's friends infused his summer with their love, enthusiastic activities, and invigorating positive energy!  In addition to activities and fun, friends Gio and Nick (and Bro Austin) helped keep Forrest safe during the night through overnight shifts in the ManCave.

Working with Kay and Del, Forrest gained muscle mass, balance, and endurance. Under Tami's guidance and tutoring, Forrest's speech and cognitive abilities continue to expand.

With Pop's terrific cooking, he gained 16 pounds this summer and hit his pre-surgery goal of 165 this week!  And through music therapy with Tom and fabulous camp activities at A Place to Be, Forrest's voice, character, and confidence have all soared to new heights.

As his surgeon at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Kumar, exclaimed at Forrest's recent pre-op examination, "Forrest you look great.  You have come so far and have optimized your condition for surgery!"

That was the plan. Forrest is strong.  He is ready.  So next Tuesday we travel to Johns Hopkins and on Wednesday, Forrest will undergo a groundbreaking 10 hour surgical procedure. The surgery involves the transfer of a full muscle flap from Forrest's back to his "noggin" (as he calls it).  This new tissue will provide some protection for his brain and vital circulation to support his beleaguered scalp.  We are anticipating a 7 to 10 day hospital stay, if there are no complications, and a 10 to 12 week recovery period.  Additional surgeries are anticipated 6 to 12 months later to harvest healthy bone from the back of his skull and implant it within the new muscle flap.  This will finally create a safe environment for his brain and a complete skull, without using any foreign prosthetics.

We are eternally grateful for the family, friends, and support team that have given Forrest such a terrific summer and such a strong start to the next chapter of his recovery.  We will update the blog next week from Johns Hopkins to keep you posted on the Comeback Kid's progress.

Mum & Team Forrest

44 and Megan doing a mirror activity at APTB Mentor Camp
Pilates with Kay
Arm wrestling with Del

Video of arm wrestling:
Pool party with Austin, 44, Tori and Nick

Football with Nick and Gio


  1. Sending every positive thought I have. Looking forward to posts from your mom. Keep Calm And Fight On! Much Love, Sally and Nick

  2. What an amazing Summer! Sending love, prayers and positive thoughts for your surgery……. I know you will "breeze" through it. Please continue to let us know how you are doing! You and Team 44 are amazing!!!
    Betsy, Mark & Lauren Davis

  3. You are going to rock it, Forrest - nothing and nobody can stop you. You are my hero....:)

    -Abby Laughlin

  4. An awesome summer - so happy for all of you! Forrest, we are with you in spirit - confidently expecting that your incredible strength and amazing soul - seen in your beautiful smiles, sparkling eyes, and wonderful accomplishments - combined with the steadfast love of the so very many who care about you will continue to guide you well on your journey. Lots of good wishes and love from the Shermans

  5. What a wonderful recap of a great summer. It is simply amazing what you have achieved, Forrest. Your musical was one of the highlights of our summer. You are the proof that miracles do happen. We will be out of town from the 26th to the 7th, but will be sending thoughts and prayers 24/7. We will try to coordinate with the prayer service on Wednesday, and keep informed by going to this blog.

    All love, and God bless.

    Jim and Gail



  7. Forrest,, Tom and I are with you in love and spirit today. You keep showing us how to be brave in so many ways. Much love from Ann and Tom Northrup