Bob Woodruff Video of being in a coma in Bethesda

March 3, 2008

Bob Woodruff Family Fund:  This is an interesting video of the ABC news anchor, Bob Woodruff talking about being in a coma for 36 days after he was hit by an IED in Iraq.  The video is about 5 minutes long.  Don’t miss the last minute of the video where he talks about what he believes brought him out of the coma.  I think you will see why Sam has come along as far as he has.

You can read more about Bob Woodruff and the Bob Woodruff Family Fund that was established to raise awareness of the war’s signature injuries, TBI and PTSD by clicking here.

Erin’s Heroes:  I was perusing Erin’s MySpace web page the other day and came across the section: “Erin’s Interest”.  I wanted to share with all of you the “Hero’s” section, which of course, brought a tear to her father’s eye:

erin's heros from her myspace page

Sam’s medical status:  Sam’s liver count has improved to a point where he can be transported to Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital.  This move should occur this Wednesday baring any unforeseen circumstances.  As I mentioned before, Sam will be at Kentfield for at least eight weeks, and afterwards, may be sent back to the VA hospital in Palo Alto or possibly the VA hospital in Livermore, Ca. 

Erin is pretty excited about the move to Kentfield but will be very sad to leave the wonderful people at the Palo Alto VA hospital behind.  She feels like they are a part of her family and (and I’m sure Sam) will miss the daily interaction with the therapist, nurses and doctors. 

Erin is going to be staying in an apartment in San Anselmo which is about a ten minute drive from the hospital in Kentfield.  It will be about the same size as the room she has at the Fisher House at the hospital in Palo Alto.  The apartment is furnished and overlooks a beautiful grove of trees.  Erin visited the apartment on Thursday and feels she will be very comfortable there.

As I was talking to Erin this morning, I heard lots of chatter going on in the background.  Erin told me Sam was doing his punching therapy.  His right shoulder has gotten much stronger lately and he was punching a padded target that the physical therapist was holding up.  Erin said he’s been working on his jab and right cross!

When I was in church this past weekend listening to the 2nd reading from Ephesians 5:8-14, I got chills when I heard the following verses:

Awake, O sleeper,
arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light!

Pray with us for a safe and “healing” trip for Sam to Kentfield.


How to love a Marine who has been injured

February 10, 2008

close up of erin and sam II_edited-1

Back in my September 8th post I spoke of Erin and Sam’s wedding ceremony. My dear friend Morey presided at their wedding. Morey told those assembled that day they were witnessing something very special. That special something was the coming together of two people who loved each other with all their hearts, their minds and souls. During his sermon, Morey told us, “I believe these two young people are going to teach us how we should love each other”. Last week Erin sent us this picture from her camera phone. She held it up and took the shot by herself. I think it really captures the love between these two young people, doesn’t it?

We spent this past Saturday with Erin and Sam. When we first arrived, Erin was out taking one of the other patients to the store, so we got to spend some time alone with Sam. When I walked into the room, he turned his head towards me and looked right at me. He then held his right hand up to greet me. That was probably the most aware I’ve ever seen Sam. As we were talking to him, he very casually moved his hand up to his face and scratched his eye. I’ve never seen Sam so able to control his movement like this before.

When Erin arrived back from the store, she got up into the bed with Sam. She pointed to her leg and I noticed that Sam had moved his right hand so that it was laying on top of her leg. Erin said that earlier this week when they were in the therapy/gym, she was sitting right in front of him as he sat on the therapy table (there was also someone right behind him in case he started to fall backwards—Sam managed to get his right arm around Erin and eventually got his hand under her shirt. He was slowly trying to move his hand up while being cheered on by all the therapist in the room!

One other pretty amazing thing Sam did while we were visiting—when we were outside taking a walk (he was in his wheelchair) he started coughing and then drooled a little, but instead of waiting for Erin to wipe his mouth, he grabbed the towel on his lap and wiped his mouth by himself! Very cool!

Sam is still on track to be transferred to Kentfield Rehabilitation Hospital within the next two or three weeks. He will be in a program that normally last about eight weeks. After that eight week period it is possible that he will be moved to the Veterans Hospital in Livermore, Ca which has an acute brain injury ward. When Sam reaches a point in his rehabilitation where he can take advantage of more advanced TBI therapy, he will most likely be moved back to the Palo Alto VA hospital. Both VA hospitals in Palo Alto and Livermore are part of the VPAHCS or VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Erin will be visiting the Livermore facility tomorrow.