Monday, November 23, 2015

Two More Hurdles Cleared

Bolstered by Pops, Tami, all the amazing week-end visitors, and countless prayer warriors you attacked this day with renewed energy. 

Toliver trots alongside your gurney early this morning and impresses the transport team by pushing the remote door openers. The technician at interventional radiology is visibly disappointed that Toliver is not allowed into her operating suite.  Surgically placing the central "Hickman" IV line will allow us to safely administer the intravenous antibiotics at home for the next six weeks. Although this is the third time we have tried this approach, now that most of the hardware is removed from your skull, the antibiotics should be able to clear your bone grafts of any lingering infection.  Hickman  Central IV Line in = First Hurdle cleared! 

After the Hickman is placed Dr Kumar arrives to remove both of your surgical drains. A painful procedure for sure so a little extra pain medicine is ordered.

"That wasn't so bad," you reassure Dr Kumar!  Then Dr K shows us today's post op 3D CT scan of your new Noggin. 

On the left is the top of your skull before last Monday's surgery showing your bone grafts from March and multiple titanium plates "knitting" all the pieces together.  The gaps between the bone provided opportunities for the skin to break down.   In today's image on the right, sections of your ribs have been used to fill-in most of the open spaces so that the vast majority of the hardware could be removed. While it does still look a little bit like a patchwork quilt, it is a nearly solid and complete cranium constructed almost entirely of your own bone! With your skull 90% complete and with the shunt totally clamped off, our hope and prayer is that your body and CSF will establish its own new equilibrium.  Dr. Kumar knew this was going to take multiple surgeries and that it would be difficult, but he is clearly pleased today with the CT and with your appearance. CT and clinical progress approved = Second Hurdle cleared! 

Dr. Kumar and you have an interesting conversation reminiscing about the first time you met. Dr. Kumar remembered that you seemed to have trouble processing language fast enough to keep up with the conversation. You agree that it was hard to figure out what people were saying fast enough to respond in time. But now you exclaim, " I get what you are saying, quick as a snap! " Dr Kumar laughs out loud and agrees. He wants to lay his eyes on you Wednesday morning and if all your incisions look good and you are still "quick as that snap", we are BrightWood bound on Thanksgiving Eve!!!

Saint Toliver has been so patient. Wednesday will mark 30 days in 12E Room 48 for you and Tollie.   His eyes say it all, "When Champ can I take you home, already"? 

Soon Toliver Soon.  

God Bless,



  1. What am amazing picture.....and story of such determination. I'm telling you....Hollywood needs this movie. And you will be well to star in it. Well, whatever, but you are our star all the time already!! Stay strong.

  2. Incredible!! That Before and After CT scan is amazing. Thank you for sharing. It tell us all so much about this creative doctor, this marathon patient and we wish you all the best in yet another recovery. I hope this does the trick! Missy

  3. You are amazing! I can't help but think of the image of you flying as Superman in the Team 44 song!!! We are so happy that you will be cozy and happy at Brightwood for Thanksgiving. We will all be thankful for you, your team and Dr. Kumar! Shelly is so proud of her pal, Tolliver, and hopes they can play soon!
    The Elgins

  4. Two more hurdles--my goodness, Forrest you are a thoroughbred for sure. Hopefully, soon there will be no more hurdles--surely you've had enough. How will Dr. Kumer (God bless him) spend his time? Miracle man-you've done it again--
    Wow-just wow!

    All love,


  5. I would have to agree with Gail. WOW!!! Thank you so much for the update and pictures! That CT Scan is just amazing!! This Blog has been the most informative reading that I have ever seen!! I don't understand a lot of the terminology, but you always explain it to where we out here can understand it a lot better. Thank you so much! Prayers are continuing for you Forrest and for Team 44. Keep up the good work. It will be wonderful when you get to spend Thanksgiving at BrightWood! All of you are just like family!!

    Love and Prayers,

    Joyce and Wilbur Ellis

  6. Hooray for miracles! So much to be thankful for! Keep moving forward, onward and continue to amaze us! To paraphrase a song from the Casting Crowns..."you were made for so much more than ordinary were made to thrive!" And it is such a joy to see you thriving once again! Happy Thanksgiving to the entire 44 Team and may God continue to bless you all!
    Love and hugs,
    The Rafferty Family

  7. One step closer, Forrest! Amazing. Happy Thanksgiving! From the gang at Rabbit Hill!

  8. Forrest can't believe the journey that you have been on. We continue to read about your amazing story. Hope your week gets better and better and you have an awesome Thanksgiving.

  9. Brings tears to my eyes to see the journey you have been on. You are a miracle and we are all so grateful for it. GOD inspires us with his wonders big and small. You are a shining example of His might. Come home soon, we are waiting for you. Xxoo

  10. WOW! Is all I can muster. I marvel at the skill of the surgeons, the strength of your family to share all their heartache and joy with all of us and the resilience of you, Forrest. You are truly a super star!!