Veterans Day at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto

Veterans Day at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto:  Saturday was very special for our family.  We got to spend it together with Sam at the VA Hospital.  I was so grateful that my other daughter (Allison) spent Thursday through Saturday with Erin and Sam.  You have all heard how wonderful Erin is in dealing with Sam, but Allison also has a very special gift in the way she cares him. 

Joey’s gift to Erin and Ali:  Both Erin and Ali grew up babysitting a very special cousin named Joey who has Angelman Syndrome (AS).  I know Joey’s parents adore my daughters and are very thankful that they have been a big part of Joey’s life.  I can’t help but think that the love, understanding and acceptance they have for Joey has helped shape the beautiful and caring personalities they have today.  In a very special way, Joey has taught Erin and Allison how to look beyond the surface of what they see and look into a person’s heart instead. 

HeroBracelet worn by Kilo Battery

boots_helmut_rifle_memorial Remembering our fallen heroes on Veterans Day: Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Corporal James McRae, Corporal Matthew Zindars, Lance Corporal Robert Lynch and Hospitalman Daniel Noble who lost their lives on July 24, 2007 while on convoy duty with Sam in the Dilyala province of Iraq.  I know it is especially painful for the Noble family as Daniel’s birthday falls on Veterans Day.  The Marines of Kilo Battery wear a black Fallen Hero Bracelet (see graphic) with the names of their four buddies who died on July 24th. 

Please take a few minutes to view their memorial page on this weblog and think about these men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  There is a special note from an Army officer who attended their memorial service in Iraq.  He is the author of the weblog Badgers Forward.  To the fallen Hero’s of Kilo Battery, Erin left you this note on October 23, 2007 after Kilo Battery returned from Iraq:

Your brothers are home safe with their families.  Now you can rest.

Visit from Seniors 4 Soldiers:  A special thanks to Amanda from Seniors 4 Soldiers who drove all the way down from Lincoln, Ca. to visit Sam and Erin.  I am always amazed at the kindness and caring of people like Amanda who put so much time into helping others. 

 Sam’s medical status: 

Friday November 9th, 2007:  Erin said they had an exciting afternoon.  Allison (Erin’s sister) is staying with her a few days.  This afternoon Sam was being very animated.  He was trying to sit up in the bed.  He was being very animated with his mouth.  Erin took the opportunity to have Sam brush his teeth (with a little help from Erin).  He was also taking Erin and Ali’s picture with her camera (again with a little help from Erin).  Sam also was able to move his arm all the way to the top of his head.

Saturday November 10th, 2007:  Today my whole family spent the day with Sam.  Sam’s father Eric was also visiting.  It has been two weeks since I saw Sam and I really have noticed a positive change in him.  The most dramatic change has been in his “look”, or the way he looks at people and objects.  In the past, he has had (for lack of a better description) a sort of “start off into space” look about him.  But I’ve noticed (as has Erin and others) he is becoming more focused—almost like he’s really concentrating on you and trying to figure you out.

Sunday November 11th, 2007:  Sam is staying awake more through the afternoon.  It looks like his new medicine is working well.  This week the doctors will be working on getting his backside in shape so they can get him back up and into a wheel chair.  I’m sure that getting him out of his room for a while each day will speed up his recovery.  I can’t wait for the day when Erin can wheel him over to the Fisher house and they can spend some time together in her room.

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4 Responses to Veterans Day at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto

  1. Michael Monk II says:

    Erin, thank you for allowing my wife and I to visit you and Sam today! It was the best Veteran’s Day I have ever had! You are a beautiful young women that glows with the presence of the Holy Spirit! You and Sam are a witness to the Love that Jesus has for us all. Keep pouring your Love into Sam as you have been doing and he will respond to the healing power of Love. This is the same Love that will restore Sam’s health. Saint Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians ch. 13 verse 8, “Love never fails.” Ch 13 tells us the way of love …and we saw and felt it in Bldg 7, Room 125, today! With all of our Love and prayers Michael and Susan Monk

  2. Erin Nichols says:

    Thank you Michael and Susan. I try to frequently remind Sam that he has thousands of people praying for him, most of whom we have never met. It’s nice to meet some of those people and for Sam to see how important he is to the rest of the world thru people like you. After you left I asked Sam if he likes meeting people who pray for him. With his index finger in the air he said yes. On many occasions I have asked Sam if he likes it when we pray for him and if he talks to Jesus; in both instances he always replies with one finger, yes.

    It’s also great to hear new insight from fellow believers. You really helped to put me in a prayerful mood today. I have spent most of the day studying and praying. I said it recently, but I feel even stronger now, that Sam will take a huge step very soon. I think he is very close to talking.

    In Jesus’ name I declare Sam is whole, healthy and complete! Prasie God!

    “Whatever you pray, believing, you shall receive.” Mark 11:24

  3. Erin Nichols says:

    and thank you to the thousands of you who pray for us daily. God bless you.

  4. kabbruzzi says:

    Hey there Sam, Erin & Family,

    Just stopping by to let you all know that as always you are in my thoughts and my prayers, each and every day. Hope that you are having a good week this week Sam!! With every post here, it is clear that you are doing more and more every day. I know you are right Erin, Sam WILL be taking a huge step soon!! How awesome will it be to hear his “first words”. Stay strong Sam, and stay strong Erin and family. God bless each and every one of you and may He continue to bestow upon you the peace, comfort and strength that you need every single day.

    You can do it Sam, you will do it, and you are doing it every single day. And prayers, support and Angel Hugs will be coming your way every day – forever.

    – Kris, a Soldier’s Angel from Rhode Island

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