Moving to Palo Alto!

VA Hospital in Palo AltoSam’s medical status: This morning Sam’s doctor told Erin he just completed all the paperwork to release Sam from the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda. He will be put on a medivac flight and will be in Travis AFB, CA tomorrow! He’ll stay there for about 24 hours and then will be driven the rest of the way to the VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center in Palo Alto California. The picture to the left is the VA hospital in Palo Alto. The polytrauma rehabilitation center where Sam will be receiving brain stimulation therapy is actually off to the right of the main hospital.

I spoke in my last post about the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and that Sam was a “10”. I didn’t think that made too much sense as the three categories would tell me he’s an “11”. Erin confirmed with Sam’s doctor that he is in fact an “11” (E4+V1+M6 = 11).  The doctor’s at Bethesda are totally amazed at his recent progress.

Tower of the Bethesda Naval Hospital Leaving Bethesda: I’d like to say a few words about the NNMC in Bethesda—It will be very hard for Erin to leave that place. Her and Sam have been there for seven weeks and I know she feels Sam has had incredible care. The people working at the hospital—the Marine Liaison office, the corpsman, the nurses, doctors, social workers have all been incredible to her and Sam. Sam has received the best care possible and all the people at the hospital have treated Erin with great care and respect. She has never had a single complaint about anything or anyone at the NNMC.

I personally spent a week at the NNMC and I want everyone to know that the men and women at the NNMC are incredibly professional, dedicated and caring individuals. I’m sure Erin will feel like she’s leaving part of her family behind. We salute the people who worked with Sam, cared for him and provided Erin so much comfort during such a difficult time. Bethesda has truly been a “place of healing and mercy” for both Sam and Erin.

I was looking at some of the weblog comments for a nice bible verse to use and also looked up the meaning of “Palo Alto” which is Spanish. Loosely translated “Palo Alto” means “tall tree”. The first bible verse I came to was from Larry Wiseman from yesterday—it gave me chills when I read it! I think Larry must have a direct connection to God, or at least a nice DSL link. Here is the bible verse he added:

“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.”

Job 14:7

Miracles will continue to happen. Thank you all for your prayers and support.


16 Responses to Moving to Palo Alto!

  1. Liz Finberg-Timmerman says:

    Please let the staff in Maryland know that i appreciate everything they have done for Sam and you guys too!I am so happy to hear that he will be in Cali so very soon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve commented before on here, I know Drew’s wife (Drew the Marine from the last post’s picture, far right). So from her I was linked to your site and have been checking it regularly. Today while in Reno, NV at the Reno Air Races, I saw a group of ROTC students, I didn’t notice at first but later on I looked closer at their shirts and saw that they were from Casa Robles! I just thought, how weird and such a small world =)

    I am very excited to hear that he is being moved! =) and this whole 11 on the GCS is remarkable!! I’ll be keeping him and all of you in my prayers. It’s been an incredible ride so far huh? Yalls strength is so fantastic! =)

  3. Well, Tony, you say the kindest things about me…I just want you all to know that it is NOT about me; it is about Jesus Christ. In the Spring of 1982, I gave my life to Him, and have not been the same since, but I certainly have not arrived yet; I am just a man, but I can say that when we surrender to God, He promises to work with us, and IN us;
    I Praise God’s Holy name for what He has and IS doing for Sam; remember, there is reason for everything! There are NO accidents! I take NO credit, for I don’t deserve it, but God has been so good to me, and I just want to try to shine His light as much as I can; I fail miserably many times, but I do have some good days, too. I want to share what I took on as my “life” verse many years ago, and it’s not mine, really; it’s just something that I try to live by’ only with god’s help.
    I pray for the day when I can reach out and touch Sam, and see what God has done in his life.

    Isaiah 61:1
    The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

  4. Becky Connolly says:

    Awesome news. Prayers are and will continue helping dear Sam. Hoping Sam continues his improvment every day.

  5. Danalee says:

    Praise God! How wonderful that Sam is moving back to California today. Surely, this is just the beginning of even greater things to come! God is watching over His Child and bringing him home! My prayers for Sam’s recovery and rehabilitation will continue. Love to all.

  6. Lisa Filbert says:

    WELCOME HOME SAM!!!!! I can’t stop laughing and crying all at the same time, this is the most wonderful day EVER! Just knowing that Sam is at Travis right now fills my heart with so much joy I don’t think I could express it even if I tried. Erin and Sam, I love you both so much and I’m so excited that you both are home again!

  7. Carol Calloway says:

    All this news is so good. I think our prayers are being answered even sooner than we thought. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!! And I also thank God for the staff at the Naval Hospital. And thank you to all of the staff too. Obviously, they know what they are doing and how to do it.

    We will keep the prayers going.

    And thank you, Tony, for all the up-dates and the additional information and explanations of the medical terms.

  8. nona @ bob wheeler says:

    Dear Neria and Nicoles family, Erin and
    Sam. With my lack of computer knowledge I have not been able to find how Sam was doing. My son helped today and I just praise our Lord and Savior for the work he is doing in Sam, Erin and the families. But why should we be surprised? Our Lord has power over all the darkness and we just thank him for all the works He does. Our oldest son had a brain tumor when he was 19 with no hope of surviving other than as a vegetable. He was healed completely! And lives to worship and love his Lord at the age of 53. We had our miracle and you will too! As someone said earlier to you, God loves Sam and all of us more than we could possibly love. We thank and praise you, Lord Jesus Christ. Blessings, Bob& Nona

  9. KAREN AMES says:


  10. Bobbie Toyne says:

    I’m so happy for all of you…to be so much closer to home and all of your dear friends and family. God bless you all and praise his holy name! My family continues to pray for all of you.
    Peace and love…Bobbie Toyne

  11. eugene hall says:

    Ida and I are happy to hear sam is doing better! Keep healing. You both remain in our prayers.

  12. I started straight out of high school in steelmaking. Single, living at home. I took airplane lessons and wanted to spend a vactation retracking the scenes of the then famous movie the Exorcist. I went down Wisconsin one early afternoon stumbling on the hospital and the AAPA. ( Aircraft owners and pilot’s Association). Just beyond the hospital. After a weekend at 18 years of age in 1973 at Georgetown. I always remembered the hospital never knowing its name. Some ten years later after a furlough, I volunteered and went in the U.S.Navy. upon completion of Basic and Naval School of Health Sciences, I chose Bethesda as my first duty station wanting to attend -Operating Room Technology school- 1884-1985 time frame. I never realized it was the same hospital to I thought about it. What a wonderful tour I had and a great four years. Bethesda always- Daniel L.Phillips

  13. Patrick Cook says:

    Dear Sgt. Sam and family:

    My high school class in Napa, CA is reading a great book called Bullrider bu Suzanne Morgan Williams.
    She writes the book from the eyes of a little brother who is a skateboarder turning into a bull rider.

    The Marine in the story suffered TBI from an IED and yet his improvement is inspirational to his small town and his brother.
    We’d like to recommend it to you!

    We’d also like to thank you for your service and wish you a blessed and speedy recovery!

    Patrick Cook
    Room 104 Liberty High School
    Napa, Ca

    • Tony Neria says:

      Thank you Ms. Cook for the comment. I think it is wonderful that you are reading that book in your class. I wanted to let you know that I passed on your note to my daughter Erin and to Sam.


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