Thursday, January 14, 2016

Five Years Out Today

Darlin' Forrest,

Five years ago today I got the call that changed the trajectory of your life and our family forever. My mother's heart clenches now just thinking of that moment.  At first the doctors told us to prepare ourselves for the likelihood that you would never wake up from the coma. When you did, they told us that most of a TBI patient's recovery is made in the first year.  When we brought you home from the hospital for the first time, on 12/21/11 almost a year after your snowboarding accident, you couldn't turn yourself over in bed, open your fists or your mouth, or utter one word.

So many earthly angels came to our aid, believed in you, and supported our family through endless dark and difficult months. We couldn't have made it without Austin's unconditional love, our extended family, faithful friends, APTB, and our incredible community.   And without Del Wilson's faith, encouragement, mentorship, humor, and skill as a physical therapist, I don't know how you would have come back from so many setbacks to regain your strength and reclaim your physical independence. 

For Christmas this year we wanted to make a video tribute to Del.  Tami helped gather images and videos from a dozen different devices taken over more than four years and with incredible patience, persistence and talent created Forrest's Tribute to Del Wilson. The music, 44 Reasons, was written and recorded by Jason Price, Nathan Chuba and Forrest. On this day we would like to share this tribute with Forrest's friends, prayer warriors, and supporters. When I asked Forrest what he would like to say today about his journey so far, he said, "This video says it all". 

You can watch Forrest's Tribute to Del on YouTube :

With grateful and optimistic hearts, we look forward to the next amazing five years of your journey.

 Kick on, Champ!

Mum & Pops


  1. How I remember this day. The blog post I wrote after visiting you in the hospital in DC for the first time was titled "Humbled", and 5 years later, I remain ever so; you are a daily walking and talking miracle, and in spite of your tremendous journey (though we never doubted you'd be famous!) you are still the same tall, lanky kid you always were, quick with a comeback, even more quick with a smile~adored by all who are touched by your humor, your grace and your perseverance. Love you to the moon and back, kiddo, always. xx

  2. What can I say? Del is amazing and 44 is equally amazing. I love the energy that both of you have not only for your continued progress but the fun spirited energetic way in which you both embrace the task at hand. Bravo to Del and Bravo to 44. I remember the first time I met with Del to discuss your case so that I might share pilates with you. Del inspired me to move forward with you on this journey. He put a halt to my fears. It was unknown territory for me, but oh what fun we have had. It has been a privilege to know you and to work with you over the years. Keep moving forward and embracing life as only you can do. Thank you Del for all you do for 44 and the community at large. We are blessed to have you and Mary! We are all blessed to know 44 and the joy and the inner spark for life that he so gladly shares. XXOO Kay, Middleburg Pilates

  3. Forrest, this is such a powerful demonstration of your hard work and resilience and heart. Thank you for sharing, and great thanks to Del for his guidance through all of this.

  4. Forrest, this is such a powerful demonstration of your hard work and resilience and heart. Thank you for sharing, and great thanks to Del for his guidance through all of this.

  5. What a beautiful tribute inspired by such a difficult situation. Turning lemons to lemonaide doesn't even begin to describe where you have gone with your journey. It's more like a huge lemon meringue pie! Thanks to Del and all of those who have contributed to this amazing story....and best of all to its star. We love you Forrest!! Aunt Lynn and Uncle Ron

  6. Wow..What a phenomenal tribute to the power of smiles, giggles, hard work, and the outcome of monumental hardwork....The faith and never ending positive expectations of Team 44, Del, and all the people you and Team 44 have encountered on this twisty road have brought all of you through with immeasurable growth to all who have encountered your positive spirit. I will always cherish my little piece of this journey. May the road become a country lane with gentle breezes and warm winds.

  7. I've watched this video about 10 times now--send it to Hollywood!! A star helping a star--nothing better than this!