Yes! Sam is alive! In fact, yesterday was his fifth anniversary of that fatal day in Iraq in 2007 when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a roadside bomb. Sam made the trip from Iraq to Germany where Erin and Sam’s brother Donny where waiting for him. He then was sent to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center for a few months. After he started coming out of his coma, he was sent to the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital. After about six months of rehab at the VA, Sam was sent to Kentfield Hospital in Marin County. The last few years, Sam has been residing at the Care Meridian 24 hour skilled nursing facility in Granite Bay. We have been very pleased with the care Sam has received at Care Meridian. He receives physical, occupational and vision therapy a couple of times a week. Most importantly, Sam is treated like a member of the family at this facility. Sam continues to score very high on the brain related test he is given. He still has a real hard time with short term memory issues, but long term memory is just fine.
I tend to get a little down about Sam’s progress and it makes it difficult for me to write blog post about him because I always want to put out really positive reports—for that, I apologize. I will try to be more forthcoming with my updates. I will also resist the urge to give you to much information in this single blog post because there has been a lot of very positive things going on in the life of Sam and Erin, but I will make separate updates (preview: Erin graduated from college and getting ready for graduate school, Sam’s official retirement from the Marines, Erin and Sam buying a new house!).
Sam is still making small gains in all areas of his rehabilitation and yesterday proved to be a very good day for him. As Julie and I were walking in to see him, he was sitting up on the rehab table without the assistance of the therapist. Here is what Erin said in her facebook updated:
Today is Sam’s 5th Alive Day! To commemorate the day he had an awesome physical therapy session. He sat with minimal assistance for 1:13, then 1:23. He also used his hip flexors to pick up his right leg before he kicked it out. These are both firsts. I am so proud of him.
On top of Sam’s 5th anniversary “Alive Day”, in a few days (July 27th) Sam and Erin will be celebrating their 9th anniversary of marriage! Besides going to school and training for marathons and triathlons (another blog post!), Erin can be found at the Care Meridian facility hanging out with Sam almost every day of the week. Thank you for your support and continued prays for Sam. He is a live and well and still improving every day. One final picture of the happy couple. Happy anniversary Sam and Erin. We love you!