The miracle that is Sam and Erin

Sam & Erin kissing on Christmas Day 2007 VA Hospital Palo Alto, Ca.

December 24th was the five month anniversary of Sam’s injuries. Five months of disbelief, anger, sadness, relief, prayer and many small miracles.

For the first time in five months of blogging about Sam and Erin, I’ve included a picture of Sam in the hospital. There are different reasons why I haven’t included any pictures up to this point and it’s probably best not to go into them.

For those of you who have been following Sam’s progress, and for all of the wonderful charitable organizations who have helped Sam and Erin and our extended families—I wanted to share with you the ongoing miracle that is Sam and Erin. I say “Sam and Erin” because I really don’t know where Sam would be without his loving wife.

The “miracle” starts with a young Marine who went off to war. As with all wars, the unspeakable happened. Erin received a phone call from an officer at Camp Pendelton saying Sam was severely injured and they needed her to fly to Germany right away to be with him. At the hospital in Germany Erin was told that Sam would most likely not live and that he was in a coma. If he did come out of the coma, the doctors told Erin that Sam would remain unresponsive for the rest of his life. Erin was then asked to sign a DNR form, which she refused.

Sam was in a coma for two months at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Erin didn’t listen to the prognosis of the neurologist which mirrored what she was told in Germany. Erin took up the battle cry, “faith before fact!”.

Where is Sam now? Physically, he is at the VA hospital Polytrauma Center in Palo Alto California. If you were to walk into his room, he probably wouldn’t look at you and may not even acknowledge your presence. He is still partly in that dark fog that is traumatic brain injury (TBI) and it still takes much willpower for him to even answer a question with basic sign language.

But—take another look at that picture. When Erin is in the room with Sam, there is a connection the two of them share that goes way beyond the explainable. When she comes right up to him in his face, there is an electricity that occurs. He becomes focused and you can feel and see the unspoken communication they share—some sort of cosmic connectivity. And every time I see this phenomenon, I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Love in it’s purest form?

When Erin knocked on the door to Sam’s room the other day after she stepped out for a few minutes, I witnessed the most incredible smile on Sam’s face—it just melted my heart and I saw the Sam I have always known!

Sam is with us, he is still partly in the fog of brain injury, but he is fighting back. He said his first word last week. He held his head up by himself in the gym for about 45 minutes today. He is coming back to us.

Merry Christmas (we celebrated it today) and we are looking forward to more miracles in the coming year. Thank you all for your prayers and support.


9 Responses to The miracle that is Sam and Erin

  1. God will prevail…some people forget that God really does see all and know all. It is strange how we tend not to see beyond the four walls we live in. But…

    “God is Faithful”

  2. Debbie Bickford says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing the picture of Erin and Sam. Isn’t the power of love truly amazing!!!!!! Erin, God has put you on this earth for a reason.
    May your New Year’s be a blessed one.
    Debbie in Maine
    Maine Troop Greeter

  3. Bernadine says:

    The new year is almost here and I look back at the blessings of 07……and remember as Tony said, the anger, the frustration and the hopelessness of August. But then I also remember the miracle which IS Sam&Erin. I went down to visit them in mid September and even then I could see the miracle. Erin was showing me all the wounds which were healing all over his body, but I was watching his eyes. She was also asking him if he wamted to practice kissing, which of course tickled me to no end! He was aware there were others in the room and he did a finger wave when I left. But what I saw in their eyes was a love which breaks all barriers! I do truly believe in HOPE and FAITH because of the incredible LOVE that IS: Sam&Erin!

  4. Bobbie Toyne says:

    “How good is the good God?” (A byline of my high school – Notre Dame High) He is so very good !!! And has shown it in so many ways…the slow but sure recovery of your dear Sam – and you, Erin, are such a Godsend. Your love is so great and it shows in everything I read about you. You are truly God’s gift to each other. Bless you and wishes for a wonderful New Year are sent your way…God Bless

  5. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Happy New Year Sam, Erin and Family! This coming year will absolutely be filled with more of the miracle unfolding and great leaps towards recovery. And you can count on loads of prayers, support and Angel Hugs each and every day. May God continue to bless you all and grant you the strength, peace and comfort that you need every day. You’re getting there Sam, we can all feel it out here! And Erin, YOU ROCK!

    You all continue to be in my thoughts and my prayers every day. Thank you so much for posting the picture; it is just awesome. If it’s possible to actually see love, I saw love.

    – Kris, a Soldier’s Angel from RI

  6. The Marquez's says:

    Yea!!!! SAM!
    We love you guys!
    Merry Christmas!
    Shilo, Steve, and Isaiah
    The Marquez’s

  7. Courtney says:

    LOVE the picture and the update. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas Sam & Erin. Love you guys.

  8. Carol Calloway says:

    Thank you, Tony, for sharing the love story of Sam and Erin and the love story of God for all of His children. The prayers I started the day I heard of Sam’s injuries continue today, the New Year. Like Erin, I truly believe that Sam will recover from his injuries! God gives us small miracles everyday and ever once in awhile, God gives us a big miracle. I believe that is what we are witnessing with Sam and Erin now. May God continue to bless you, your family, and all who are involved in any way with you all.

    Happy New Year to a very faith-filled family!

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

    Happy New Year Sam, Erin and Family. God Bless you with many great miracles throughout this new year. We Pray for you always. Keep up the great job Sam. Erin you are so Wonderful. We really love the pictures. It is so amazing, Sam has come so far.
    The Diaz Family

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