From Tony, Erin’s Father: I’ve been going to the gym every morning and working out with Erin all this week. Hopefully we can keep this up. It also affords me an opportunity to get the scoop on the latest with Sam. Erin told me that yesterday Sam and quite a break-through in his physical therapy. He was laying on his left side on the therapy table and his therapist asked him to turn over. He was able to move his upper body so that he was facing the ceiling—but what he was able to do for the first time, was to move his right leg up and then straighten his whole body so that he was totally facing the ceiling. That wasn’t the only thing that he did—while laying down on the table and his knees up (with his feet flat on the table), he was able to move his right leg down to the right touching the mat and then back up to touch his left knee. He had done this a few times in the past—only one time and they he couldn’t do any more, but this time, he did it seven times in a row…rested a few minutes and then did it three more times. As he was doing it, the therapist said, “I think he’s having a break-through”.
Speaking of Sam’s right side, Erin and the therapist have been working on his right arm which has been improving lately. The photo shows him pushing his wheel chair with his left are, but they have been noticing some movement in his right arm as he tries to use both hands to propel him along. Very small improvement, but none-the-less, a significant improvement on his right side.
For those of who of you who are using facebook, there is a “group” called “Support for Sgt Samuel Nichols”. Just search for this group in facebook and join. Erin and I will start adding quickie updates on this facebook page. The group page was started by Patrick Couhie who happens to be the Navy Corpsman who first brought medical add to Sam right after the roadside bomb hit their convoy. I’m sure Patrick’s quick actions are the reason Sam is with us today. I hope to start adding more frequent updates in this blog too…I tend to wait until I have almost too much information and then life happens and I put off updates for weeks at a time! I will try to do better.
Speaking of life happening, Erin’s sister, Allison had a baby on January 4th (Holly Quinn). She was 6 pounds 10 ounces. Allison brought Holly to see Sam about a week after she was born. After holding Holly for about a half hour, Erin asked Sam, “what do you think of Holly?”. And Sam, or course, had the perfect response. He said, “I love her!”.
From Sam’s Father Eric:
Good Morning All,
Isn’t it incredible that after 2 1/2 years since Sam’s injury, that the
interest in His recovery and progress hasn’t waned in the least? What is it about Sam’s particular case that makes He and Erin so special and the object of everyone’s prayers and good wishes? Have you asked yourself why you await word in the form of an update or new submission to his blog? The answer is simple really, and probably doesn’t escape most of you; but it was a real encouragement to me to glean this from a conference I recently attended. That is, "Faith is what sticks after you’ve had an embrace from the Faithful One". That couldn’t be more true for all of you. God selected each and everyone of you to pray for Sam and Erin, and in so doing laid on your hearts the faith by which to accomplish just that. Yes, their love is a classic story and of great human interest as well; but human interest stories come and go. Only what is done by God remains, and what he does is usually accomplished through people. Scripture is full of those examples, so we continue to stand together for Sam’s total restoration. His healing is already here; just ask God to show it to you….
We’ve had some very special friends from a sister church in Redding, Ca., (Bethel) come and pray for Sam and Erin. It is a 3 hour drive one way, and then they spent 4.5 hours praying with us, and then 3 hours back home. All of this on top of working that day and having to be back at work the next day. What an inspiring time that was too. They not only came here under the direction of the Holy Spirit for Sam, but for the rest of us as well. My faith soared as I observed a young couple on fire for the Lord, aggressively pray for Sam’s release. Their mentor, quietly praying in the background, and all 3 of them displaying the love of Jesus and the early apostles. We are truly thankful to them for their obedience and faithfulness to God’s directions. Also some ladies from our church choir, including my sister Jan and sister-in-law Debbie, came to sing some worship songs to Sam. It was wonderful to see Sam mouthing the words to "Jesus Loves Me"…The picture of Sam and I was taken during one of those prayer sessions; but what made it so special to me was while I was praying, Sam reached up and held the side of my face and neck. This melts my heart about as much when he says "I love you, Dad".
Some might think Sam has plateaued in his progress forward. This is not so, but maybe have to see the daily details of all that he does or is able to do. Erin continues to make him her full time job and is responsible for all of his immediate care. She asks the right questions when appropriate, and gives good reports every time I see her. Her spirits are high and defeat isn’t in her vocabulary. She approaches everyday with new enthusiasm and it is infectious of all those around her. She edifies the other patient’s families and answers many of their questions. She attends class a few nights per week as she studies sign language for an eventual career in speech therapy. We love her and try to support her in all that she does. Her sister’s new baby has made her a doting Aunt, and that too is precious…