Alive Day Anniversary Three

Sam had his quarterly evaluation a few weeks ago.  They measure strength, range of motion and muscle tone.  Sam received a 5 (highest score) for strength by the physical and occupational therapist and showed an overall improvement, especially in his right arm and shoulder.  His memory retention has improved, but he still has problems with short-term memory loss.  Erin and Sam’s therapist work with him constantly to improve his memory retention.  Sam plays UNO with the staff and other patients and his card handling is getting better.  He can pick up a card from the UNO rack (usually by himself and pick the correct card for the situation.  Erin bought Sam a large size computer keyboard that is color coded and he and Erin have been working on the computer lately.  If you haven’t done so, you can “friend” him on facebook.  He doesn’t say to much…usually short sentences, but I actually watched him myself as he typed out words on his own.  Never thought I would see him doing that! 

Erin sent us a video last week of Sam doing physical therapy.  The big news is that he was moving his left leg on his own power from left to right as it balanced on the exercise ball.  You can tell by her voice (in the  video) that his physical therapist, Kerrie, was very excited about his movement.  Erin later told me that they were both trying to be very calm and not show much excitement so that Sam would think that the movement was expected and normal for him. 

Sam moving his left leg in therapy

We’re coming up pretty quickly on the third anniversary of Sam’s injury or “alive day” which is July 24th.  Remember, on that day, four of Sam’s buddies lost their lives.  You can read about them at this link Fallen Heroes of Kilo 3/12 …there are some very nice comments from some of the Marines and Navy corpsmen who knew our fallen heroes.   You might also want to leave a comment under this blog post and wish Sam and Erin a happy anniversary.  They will be married seven years on the 27th of July.

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23 Responses to Alive Day Anniversary Three

  1. Jenni says:

    Hooray! Glad to hear of Sam’s continued improvements!

  2. Carol Calloway says:

    There is some terrific news on this blog message and I am confident that it is God’s response to all of our prayers. Sam is a lot stronger than a lot of people thought and I am proud of this brave and dedicated young. I am also proud on Erin who has supported Sam every step of the way of recovery. I look forward to the day he can motivate under his own power. I know God can do that and I believe God will do it.

    Carol

  3. Julie...Erin's mom says:

    I’m so proud of you Sam! Keep that Iron Man spirit and continue to show us your determination. Happy anniversary to you and Erin! Erin, you are so much more than words could ever say. God be with you both!

  4. Debbie Bickford says:

    Just sending a huge Happy Anniversary to Erin and Sam from Maine. Sam, we’re still cheering you on!!!!

  5. Barbara Sosman says:

    More good wishes from Maine where you once traveled through and met our Troop Greeters at the Bangor airport. The strength and will shown by you, Sam, by Erin, and by all your family and friends is an inspiration to everyone who reads about you. Blessings on Sam’s “alive day” and on your anniversary, and more blessings every day as Sam continues to improve

  6. Sue Meurer says:

    It is so inspiring to read these updates. Sam, I am so proud of you. Erin, you set the standard for strength and love. I only wait to see these improvement continue, as I am sure they will. Love to you both and my prayers will go on.

    ps Happy Anniversary

    Sue Meurer

  7. Vicci and Ray Starkowski says:

    From your prayer partners in Parker/Franktown, Colorado we send you a VERY HAPPY Anniversary to you Sam and Erin and also for the both of you a wonderful “Alive Day Anniversary” . As we have said may times Sam and Erin and All of your Family are such an inspiration and Blessing to us all. Sam prayers for your continued Leaps and Bounds in your “Miraculous Recovery”! We are so Blessed to get your updates and think of you all very much. Erin to hear and see your love and dedication is a story to be told for generations! Love you both……

  8. Kalista says:

    GO SAM!!!!! happy anniversary to the two of you…And happpy “alive day” to you sam. Keep up the great work!!!

  9. The Diaz Family (Ricky,Crystal) says:

    Congratulations on your Anniversary. Keep it up Sam. Happy Alive Day!!! We are still here for you and praying for you. Erin you are really an Angel. Love to you two and your families.

  10. The Kjenstad Family says:

    A Miracle, indeed…Happy, Happy Alive Day Sam and Erin. Thinking of you both, especially, today and, also, your families and friends. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with all of us. Always in our prayers and always cheering for you. God Bless.

  11. Hi Sam, Erin and Family,
    Happy Anniversary, I have not written in a while, but wanted to say hi. Please let me know if I can be of service to you. I am proud of both of you Sam and Erin. You are testaments of grace, tenacity and persistence.

    In my experience, I have found that what I learn on my journey is more valuable than any destination. Although the journey may seem slow at times, I need to remember that my struggle is not in vain. Please also remember that your struggle is not in vain.

    God bless both you Sam and Erin.

    Craig

  12. Congratulations Sam on your Alive Day Anniversary! Everyone at the Semper Fi Fund sends their best wishes to you and your family. You are our hero!

    Semper Fi!
    Semper Fi Fund Team :)

  13. TMB says:

    This is really great! Sam, you have so much in you that makes you keep going. It really helps that you have a supportive wife and family and friends.
    Keep working hard and never give up!

  14. The Kjenstad Family says:

    Happy 7th Anniversary Sam and Erin…..Hope a very Special Couple has a very Special Day!! OXOXOXO

  15. Grammy Blick says:

    An amazing website! Although this is my first visit, I will be returning as a reminder to continue praying, and to get new status reports. God bless your family.

  16. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hey there Sam, Erin, and the Nichols & Neria families,

    A very very very belated Happy Alive Day to you Sam, and a very very very belated Happy Anniversary to one of the greatest couples to grace this earth.

    My apologies for not writing in so long! Please know though that it doesn’t mean that you haven’t been in my thoughts and my prayers every single day – because you have!

    I hope that this finds you all well, and that Sam is feeling well and has continued to kick some serious butt!!

    God bless you Sam, Erin and your families. God bless you all. Sending love, support and loads of extra special Angel Hugs to you all, every day.

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  17. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to let you know that as always, thoughts, prayers, support and loads of extra special Angel Hugs are coming your way.

    Hope that Sam is doing and feeling well, and everyone else too!

    God bless you all.

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  18. Wow! You inspire us, Sam. Our prayers go out to you for a speedy recovery.

  19. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hi Sam, Erin, Nichols and Neria families –

    Not that Sam isn’t in my thoughts and prayers every single day, he’s in them in an extra special way today, the USMC birthday, and of course tomorrow, Veteran’s Day.

    I can’t think of a better namesake for the first Commandant of the Marines, Sam is just as honorable, strong and brave as his predecessor. Perhaps even more so! And tomorrow special prayers will be said for you Sam, to honor your brave service and to say thank you from the very bottom of my heart for the sacrifices that you have made and continue to make for this great country. And to Erin and the Nichols and Neria families, special prayers of thanks will be said for you all as well, because the families of our brave heroes are in fact the backbone of this country.

    God bless you all. Please know and never forget that thoughts, prayers, support and loads of extra special Angel Hugs are always on their way to you all. I hope and pray that Sam is doing well and has been continuing to kick butt!!

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  20. The Kjenstad Family says:

    Happy 235th Marine Corps Birthday Sgt. Sam!! Thank YOU sooo very much….OORAH. You, Erin and your families are always in our prayers. Yes, we’re all still here praying and cheering you on. God Bless OXOXOXOXOX

  21. Brett Fairbourn says:

    I’m happy to read the good news. We’re praying for Sam and Erin.

  22. Kathy says:

    So, ever since I saw this blog in the Bee, I have been following it. And it’s been several months with no update….. I understand that there may have been no improvements in Sam’s status… And I have to say, I understand. But I am very curious how thing are going for him and Erin.

  23. That is fantastic Sam and Erin. God bless you for your service to our country and for your sacrifice Sam. May God richly bless both you, Erin and your bundle of joy. God bless each of you Sam and Erin.

    Have a pleasant and rewarding evening.

    Craig

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