IAVA: Stronger Together

Help the IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN VETERANS of AMERICA reach 4000 views of their newest recruitment video by July 4th.  Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation’s first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans.

Sam’s Medical Status: 

In our last update to the blog, I mentioned that Sam was at Sutter Roseville Emergency.  He was there for 4 days before being released back to CareMeridian in Granite Bay.  He was given a PICC line at the hospital to allow him to receive antibiotics intravenously.  By the time he left the hospital his temperature was back to normal.  He had a few more days where his temperature went up slightly, but nothing that would cause alarm.

There has been a few very nice improvements in Sam’s recovery lately.  Eric mentioned in the last blog post that Sam was sucking on a dum-bum sucker which is very cool.  Last week during therapy, Sam was asked to grab his left leg (he hasn’t had any movement with Granite Bay_6_30_2009either his left hand, arm or leg since getting injured).  Without any encouragement, Sam reached for his left leg using both his right and left arm!  It wasn’t a lot of movement with his left arm, but a significant movement for him.  Later while my wife Julie was with him, he lifted up his left arm again.  Erin told me on the phone last night that he is getting more aware of his left side.  For example, he’s been moving his left arm with his right hand to position it.  His frustration level with his left side not working seems to be increasing…a good sign that he is aware of his disability and his brain is working to get things moving again.

Another really exciting improvement has been with Sam’s short term memory.  Erin is always working on Sam’s memory skills and he is very good at remembering things from 2 years ago and beyond, but not so much with more recent events.  For example, the day after Sam and Erin went to see the new star trek Eric and Wendy_6_30_2009movie, he didn’t remember going.  But—recently Erin asked Sam what big news occurred in my younger daughter’s life and he remembered that she recently told him she was pregnant (Julie and I will be grandparents for the first time!).  He’s also been remembering other big events like his father Eric getting married a few weeks ago to Wendy.  By the way, Eric met Wendy thought this blog.  Wendy is an RN from St. Louis…she came across Sam’s blog one day and started leaving occasional notes.  Eventually Eric started noticing her beautiful faith filled comments and encouragement she was giving Sam and Erin.  They started emailing each other, eventually met, and now are married!  I’m sure there’s more interesting details to the story, so I’ll let Eric make any corrections or additions where needed.

Peace and Love to all,



8 Responses to IAVA: Stronger Together

  1. Wendy Nichols says:

    Erin & Sam,
    We are continually blessed, inspired and encouraged by your strength, love and perserverence. What a delight it is to have you close to home (Yes, Sacramento is now my new home); a pure joy and honor that we are able to visit regularly and pray.
    Thank you, Julie, for taking our picture at Care Meridian–I wondered what that was about, and Tony- for acknowledging our marriage. You all are wonderful and the Nichols’ are very blessed to have you as an extension to their family.

    Love, hugs, and prayers to all of you.


  2. Bena Fabian says:

    Have a wonderful 4th of July! Thanks to Sam and all of his fellow military, we are all able to celebrate. Sam’s progress is heartening, Erin continues to be a great example to us all of love and commitment. Congrats on the marriage. May God continue to bless you all.

  3. Jeannie says:

    Congratulations to Eric and Wendy! Isn’t it amazing how Sam, in is own way got them together? 🙂
    happy 4th, thanks to all our soliders!


  4. Carol Calloway says:

    To all our military around the world, thank you! And may God bless each one of you and keep you safe. Thank you to Sam and all of the wounded men and women who have served to preserve our freedoms. You are all in our prayers. Congratulations to Sam for all the good news and to Erin for being strong and persistent in encouraging Sam and helping him is so many ways to improve and grow stronger. You set the example for military wives. May God continue to bless you both and you families.

    Continued love and prayers,

  5. Fachrul says:

    Congratulations…!!! it’s a good Info !

  6. Kathy says:

    Hi Sam,

    Happy Independance Day Sam and Erin!! Sam, thank you for your service and sacrifce to ensure our country’s freedom and safety. You don’t know me but I am a former Sprint workmate of Erin’s dad, Tony. I check your blog frequently and have celebrated each step of Sam’s recovery….often times your story fills me with great hope and optimism when I am feeling low or defeated. Yours is an inspirational story filled with love, hope, courage and continual faith. I keep you in my prayers and forsee a happy, healthy and rewarding ending to your story. Enjoy this 4th of July in your new home and thanks again your proud and dedicated service!

    Many Blessings…..Kathy

  7. Kris Abbruzzi says:

    Hola Sam, Erin & Families!

    Just stopping by to say HEY to you all! As always it’s so wonderful to read about all of the incredible improvements that Sam continues to make. It seems that he’s really flourishing at CareMeridian…I’m sure that having loving family and friends so close has been some of the best therapy.

    AND CONGRATULATIONS ERIC & WENDY!!! What a great story about how you met. I saw the comment above mentioning how amazing it is that Sam had everything to do with uniting 2 soul mates who lived miles and miles apart – it is truly amazing!! Great work Sam! 🙂

    Awesome new pics — Sam, you just keep looking better and better with each one. And what a beautiful little baby in the pics!!!!

    Thoughts, prayers, support and loads and loads of extra special Angel Hugs are always on their way to you all, each and every day. God bless you Sam, Erin, and the Nichols & Neria families. God bless you all.

    – Kris, a Soldiers’ Angel from RI

  8. mack says:

    will you link my website http://www.catastrophicinjury.com ?

    Catsstrophic Injury is resource center in which we have included information regarding brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation injury.

    The site is very nice in respect of cater the all genuine information to the brain injury victims.

    I hope you will revew my site .

    Thanks reagrds

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