Meeting with the Neurologist

I was hoping to give everyone good news and at least a glimmer of hope, but that is not what we received yesterday.  The Neurologist told Erin and Sam’s family that there is bleeding in the center of his brain and there is also much damage to his brain stem.  The medical team will slowly take Sam off of the medication that can keep him in a coma, and after 30 days, he should be able to come out of it on his own if that is even possible.  But, the horror of this story is the damage in his brain is so severe that he will most likely never recover.  I can’t even write down a more descriptive explanation because it is just too painful. 

As to what the future holds, it is in God’s hands.  Erin is of course, with Sam as much as possible.  Allison (my younger daughter) said the medical staff at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center are being wonderful to them.  As Allison and Sam’s family come back home this week, Julie and I plan to take turns flying back to be with Erin. 

We have received many phone calls and emails from people who have learned of this tragedy.  I don’t have enough time to respond to all the emails, but I do want to thank you for your concern and prayers.  It is very touching knowing there are so many people out there who care.  When I told Erin how many pray chains there were going on all over the country for Sam, she broke down and cried. 

Sam—I love you.  You are my hero.

Tony (Sam’s father-in-law)


24 Responses to Meeting with the Neurologist

  1. MJ Deckbar says:

    We are praying for Sam and your family also…..
    Deo Gratias,
    MJ Deckbar & Family

  2. Betty Mims says:

    I am praying for a miracle.
    Betty Mims

  3. Kimberly Robinson says:

    Miracles do happen. Stay strong in your faith; I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. God Bless Sam and all the men, women, and their families that are making great sacrifices to serve our country.
    Kimberly Robinson & Family

  4. Carol Calloway says:

    Tony, I believe in miracles and will continue to pray for Sam and all of the family. I am so sorry that this has happened. Sam has to be a terrific young man and I am proud of him also for doing what he thinks is right. May God be with you all.

    Love and prayers,

  5. Jim Hagerman says:


    We wish the best for you and your family. We will keep praying for all of you and hope for a miracle.

    Jim Hagerman & Jessica Ashley

  6. Gary & Diane Jones says:

    We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers at all time.
    Please keep us updated, as there is no bigger sacrifices anyone can make as you do when serveing our country. Just remember MIRACLES do happen, please give Erin a huge of hope for us.

    Gary and Diane Jones

  7. Bette DeCavelle says:

    You and your family are in my prayers. I have put you on the prayer list at my church and we will continue to pray for the MIRACLE that only GOD can perform. Continue to turn to Jesus for the strength and comfort that only HE can give. I have the utmost respect for Sam, he and Erin have made a huge sacrifice by serving our Great Country. Please hold Sam’s hand and tell him that we are PROUD of him!!!!! God Bless you and the families. Bette

  8. Tereda Allen says:

    I join the hands and hearts of others that are praying for Sam and your family. May God give you peace and strength to make it through this difficult time.
    God is in control!!!

  9. steve newland says:

    There are prayers going up for you in Greencastle, IN. We pray for Sam and for medically explainable miracles to happen for him. We pray for Erin and for the strength and hope that she needs throughout all this. We pray for all of the family and friends who are close to Sam and whose lives have been shaken. We pray for peace and stability in Iraq so that other families will be spared this kind of trauma.

    We are grateful for Sam’s FAITHFULNESS and COURAGE in service to our country. We pray for his life and quality of life and BIG miracles to happen. It’s not impossible. “Be joyful in HOPE, patient and affliction and faithful in prayer” – Romans 12:12

  10. JD Wight says:

    Tony: I’m terribly sorry to hear about your son-in-law. The information about his wounding was forwarded to me by Carol Berul. We both work at the California Department of Aging.
    I am a Viet-Nam army infantry veteran and had the good fortune to survive my one year tour unscathed. Looking back on it, I really don’t know how. It is painful for me to read about wounded GIs from Iraq. I am not someone who prays but I will think about your son-in-law and wish with all my heart that he regains normal functioning. Don’t ever give up hope. All will be well.

  11. Lizzie says:

    Your email has reached all the way to Pennsylvania and i will send it on further. We are all praying for Sam and Erin. Please convey to his family our thoughts and our thanks to their son for serving his country and keeping us free.


  12. Dan McElroy says:


    My prayers and thoughts are with your family during this difficult time.

    Dan McElroy

  13. Tony Neria says:

    Thank you all who have left comments of support and prayer for Sam. It warms my heart greatly knowing so many people are praying and sending out positive energy his way.

  14. Nora Castro says:

    I do bilive in MIRACLES. I an one of them. I have put Sam on another Prayer Chain. My prayers are with Sam, Erin and families. God Bless you all, Know the good Lord is with you during this difficult time.

    Love and Peace,


  15. My love and prayers to all members of the Neria and Nichols families. My Mother, Ramona Lavelle, and all my co-workers here at CA Psychological Assn, are also praying for Sam. God does hear our prayers, and answers them according to His plan. Not only do I pray for Sam’s recovery; but, also for Erin’s strength as she walks this path of seeming darkness. Blessings to all.

  16. Sami & Kevin says:

    Tony, Julie, Ali & Erin & The Nichols Family-

    We continue to pray for your strength and faith during this tragedy. Most of all we pray for the MIRACLE! We are thankful to you ALL for the sacrifices and pain your are enduring for Sam’s faithful service to our country. We are proud to know him. Young men of his courage and conviction are truly the heart of America and we honor all those who serve, we could never even begin to thank them enough for what they do in the name of our freedom.

    May God Bless you all and keep Sam safe in his arms.

    We love you,
    Sami & Kevin

  17. Tabitha Schieder says:

    To the whole Nichols Family-
    I am praying for you all and wish you all strength to endure. I know how hard it was to be with Nikolas at Walter Reed and I pray that God will help you like he helped Nikolas and I. Be strong and edure. Thank you for your service to our country!
    God Bless you and keep you
    Tabitha Schieder

  18. Carol McClure-Schmelz says:

    I will continue to pray for Sam and the whole family. I have also contacted my friends at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and they are also praying. I love you all.

  19. Jessica Augerlavoie-Teeters says:

    To the Nichol’s and Neria’s,
    We are praying for you. I believe in divine intervention, and that God has a plan. I have heard first-hand testimonials of divine intervention with our Pator a church. He iss not supposed to be living right now. I believe that God will answer our prayers and touch Sam and heal him. Sam is a beautiful light shining on this world. Never lose your faith in Him. All He asks us to do is to trust Him. We are with you in spirit and in love.

  20. Andrea says:

    This is Andrea “Drea”, Ali’s friend. I am so sorry to hear about this terrible news. My family and I are praying for Sam, Erin and your families. Please, if there is anything I can do, let me know. I remeber meeting Sam for the first time when I was in 7th grade and I am so sad to hear about his condition. My love and prayers and with him and Erin.

  21. Brendan Kelly says:

    Even though I am not a praying man, I will pray for Sam and family. I have never known a better person.

  22. Erin Nichols says:

    Thank you all for your love and prayers and support. I’m truly overwhelmed by the scores of people who are praying with us for Sam’s recovery. I just came from seeing him and he looks so good. His beautiful face was untouched by the blast, so he looks as great as always. More importantly, his vital signs have been stable for days, and he is receiving the top medical care in the country. I firmly believe that Sam will wake up soon, whole and healed. Our mantra around here is “faith overules fact.” I love Sam with all my heart, and I will never be able to express in words my grattitude for your prayers. Please keep the faith and pass the word.

  23. JIm and Mary in Sacramento says:

    We are a retired AIr Force couple. We have prayed fromyou and Sam since we first heard of his wounds. We have asked our Small Christian Community group to pray for Sam and we have all of our children praying for his recovery as well. May God continue to give you strength.
    ANd, may God bless all the men and women who serve our counry.

  24. Chaplain Stephen Cloer says:

    We met and prayed for Sam on the day of his surgery, when we were told he might not make it. When I found out about this blog and read it today, I was amazed at how much he is improving and all that God is doing. “When man works, man works. When Man prays, God works!!!!” We here at 2/11 will keep praying for Sam.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: