Sam’s Status

IAVASam was in a coma after he was hit by the IED in the Diyala province of Iraq on July 24th 2007 while performing convoy duty. He was transported to Kuwait and then to the LRMC (Landstuhl Regional Medical Center) where he was met by Erin (Sam’s wife) and Sam’s brother Donny.

After being stabilized at the LRMC, Sam was Medevac’ed to the (NNMC) National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland for seven weeks where he remained in a coma.  Erin was with him in Maryland during this time period.  She stayed at the NNMC, living at the Navy Lodge.

On September 15th 2007 Sam was moved to the Polytrama Center at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Palo Alto California.

Although the neurologist at the NNMC said initially there wasn’t much hope for Sam ever recovering due to brain damage, he has been making progress day by day.  On September 17th the doctors at the VA hospital in Palo Alto said he was at an 11 on the Glasgow Coma Scale (the scale goes from 3 to 15…3 being the worst).  Note:  When Sam arrived in Bethesda back on July 27th his GSC was a 3.  At that point, the doctor’s said he was considered in an “emerging state of consciousness” which is another way of saying that he was not fully conscious but not completely in a coma—somewhere in the middle.

Sam is receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy six days a week at the VA hospital in Palo Alto.  His tracheotomy tube was removed around the first part of December (2007), but he still has a feeding tube, catheter and temporary colostomy.

Over the last month (December 2007) Sam has been getting more vocal.  He said his first word (sort of), “uh-huh” in late December but still uses basic sign language (one finger for yes and two fingers for no).  Erin and the hospital staff ask him yes/no questions and he can be quite communicative in that regard. 

Sam has limited movement with his arms but has a much harder time with the left side of his body.  He received the bulk of his blast wounds on his right thigh and calf (which are healing nicely) and some more severe wounds on his buttock area.  He is tracking better with his eyes and can move them from left to right and up and down.  He can move his head (the neck brace he had since arriving back in the US was removed on 9/22/2007) and as of January 2008, was holding his head up without any neck support for all of his therapy sessions.

Sam’s Glasgow Coma Score (GCS) was an “11” as of 9/15/2007.  Any score above an 8 is considered to be out of a coma.  He was officially considered to be in a coma for 55 days.

Sam’s progress is currently being measured using the CRS-R (Coma Recovery Scale-Sam working out in the gym_12_26_07Revised).  This is a six category scale that measures various cognitive functions such as eye movement, response to sound, speaking ability, etc.  The CRS-R scale runs from 0 to 23 (23 being the best).  When Sam first arrived in Palo Alto, his first CRS score was a 7.  His CRS score on 9/27/2007 was an 11.  In late November early December of 2007, he was scoring a 20 on the CRS-R scale.

Sam has been using a wheelchair since December 2007.  He is lifted into the wheelchair with a pulley/crane device.  This is done two times a day.  In the morning, he is taken to the therapy gym where the physical and occupational therapist work with him.  In the last two weeks of 2007, Sam’s therapist started working with him in the “standing frame” which is a device that slowly lifts the patient from a sitting to a standing position, all the time being strapped in for safety.  This device will get him used to being in a standing position.  The next step would be getting Sam into a walking type device.

With an incredible amount of hard work from Sam, the therapist,  “Dr. Erin” (Sam’s wife)…and most importantly, your prayers, Sam will continue to improve.

Medical status last updated:  01/9/2008

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63 Responses to Sam’s Status

  1. cheryl prince says:

    We have been praying for Sam and will continue to. Our son is in kilo in ramadi. We are also praying for God’s comfort and provision for you. Take care, and thank you!

  2. Laurie Riddle says:

    Our prayers have also been with Sam since July 24th. Our son is still over in Ramadi with Kilo and that day was very hard on all the men in the battery. We were fortunate enough to know Cpl. Matt Zindars who was killed that day along with three others. We attended Matt’s funeral and witnessed the devestation that his family was going through. We are counting the days until these Marines are back home and pray that we can give them whatever emotional support that they require. Our love and prayers to you all and know that God has a plan. Be ever faithful.
    Laurie Riddle

  3. Stephanie Samsel says:

    I don’t know Sam and Erin, but what is going on has touched my heart. I will pray for Sam to continue to get better. Erin is AMAZING! She is a hero going through this with her husband and being there for him. I wish you the best of luck.

    Also I would like to thank you all and Sam most for fighting for me and my family! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Wish you the best and God Bless!

  4. Brad Chastain says:

    I pray for Sam and your family every day. I feel like I have gotten to know your family through this blog. It joys my heart to see a family staying so strong and clinging to one another. You have done a terrific job raising Erin. More than one entry has brought me to tears with all of your steadfast dedication. I know God has a miracle in store for your family. Nothing ever happens by chance to a child of God. God bless you.

    Brad

  5. eugene hall says:

    Erin & Sam, We are friends of your aunt and uncle, Joy & Dave Garrison, you and Sam are in our prayers, we know with the help of the Lord Jesus Christ Sam will make a full recovery!
    ehall

  6. Josh Pack says:

    As a Can People sponsor it weighs heavily on the heart to see any of our “adopted” Marines hurt or killed. I wish you the best and a speedy recovery. God bless and thank you.

  7. Fred & Karen Hazen says:

    Our son, too, serves with Kilo in Ramadi. He was devistated by the attack and asked us specifically to pray for your son. We have been encouraged by the updates you share as we see God’s intervention in Sam’s life. As a parent of a Marine doing what your son was doing I can only imagine what you must be going through. We will be praying for Sam’s extended family for strength as you walk through the days and months ahead in his recovery. God Bless.

  8. Andrew Edwards says:

    I didn’t talk to you often (I worked with you at Albertsons), but know this–you’re a hero man. After hearing the news, I was devastated. I know in my heart that you’ll make a full recovery. I will pray for you and your family. God bless you bro.

  9. Jan & Jon Edwards says:

    From one’s soldier’s family to another, we send along our thoughts and prayers to Sam & Erin. Evidently, Sam’s and our son Andrew’s paths crossed many times in the recent past–both at Casa Roble HS and also at Albertsons Market in Orangevale. (In fact, it was Ms. Aime Berton at Albertsons who informed us of Sam’s situation just yesterday evening.) So, on behalf of the entire Edwards family and also the Sacramento Blue Star Moms (SBSM), you are our hero, Sam! May the good Lord bless you both most abundantly during Sam’s recovery period & thereafter!!

    Most sincerely,

    Jan & Jon Edwards
    Orangevale CA

  10. Sgt,NicholS
    Your doing Great buddy.I knew you could do it keed fighting,you’vr made us all proud!
    I’ll be there to see you just as soon as I can.
    God speed Bro
    -James

  11. Cpl Bryan Gabriel says:

    hey bro we miss you so much… and ive been praying for ever since you left us for a little while but i know youll back soon… and i cant wait till then… im gonna try my best to come visit you up there…. you take care bro… and keep up the fight

  12. Carol Thomas says:

    This note is for Tony:
    Tony I just want to thank you for keeping up this website. You have given your time and talent to make each of us understand not only what is happening with Sam, but with other organizations, the men & women protecting our rights. My husband & I really have not personally known many men or women that are fighting for our freedom. We use to pray for all of them and still do, but you have brought a new personal touch of someone to pray for. Recently you talked about your morning routine, mine is get out of bed, turn on the computer and pull up Sam & Erin’s page to pray for them, in fact we pray for everyone in both families, our hearts just break for you. Tony you have brought the war so close to our hearts, given the war personal faces and real stories. The resources you have added are wonderful, giving us yet more to explore and see how each of us can help. I look forward to each and every update on Sam and Erin.Thank you, thank you again for all you are doing. We will continue to pray until the Vicotry is completely won for Sam and all our soldiers are at home.

  13. COL Larry Sparks says:

    Sam and Erin,

    I do not know either of you and accidently came across this site. I was moved by it and by the courage both of you are displaying. From an old Army Colonel still serving in the Army Reserve, I salute you both. God bless, and my wife and I will certainly pray for Sam’s full recovery and for continued strength for you all. Saying thanks for your service seems such a small thing to do or say, but I sincerely mean it. You both represent the best our Nation has, and I am proud of your continued sacrifice. One of my close friends is a US Congressman here in Ala, and I know he will always be one sure vote for Veterans and for full payment of all bonus money.

  14. Tony Neria says:

    Thank you COL Sparks. It is always heartwarming to see someone who doesn’t know Sam or Erin leave a note of encouragement and prayer. It makes a difference to me and certainly to Erin and Sam. By the way, Erin does read all of these comments to Sam. He has expressed to her many time that it makes him feel so good that so many people care and are praying for his recovery.

  15. debbie says:

    hello,
    my name is debbie , my son john was attatched to india co. in ramadi .h&s truck platoon ,he returned home safely oct. 2006 . i am writing because he is now the VA tauma unit in tampa due to traumatic brain injury from a car accident ( he was the passenger in nick hogans car , john graziano) sam’s story gives me hope i was told unimaginable things re: my son’s future from the begining which i absolutely refused to accept.the first few mths were torture it is unbelievable how far he has come .he responds to my voice & maintains eye contact with me while i am talking to him for a few weeks now ,it is the most beautiful moment of the day for me.i will add you and sam to my prayers. God bless you with peace , courage , strenghth and may all your needs be met during this time……….debbie graziano (compton)

  16. Cpl Joseph Moore says:

    hello family of sgt sam nichols. i am positive that you do not know me however i have been in kilo battery for the past year and a half and experienced the hard times 1st plt and kilo as a whole had to go through in iraq. i was in 3rd plt through the deployment however as small as the battery is, its pointless for me to say that everyone knows everyone and we all care more than anyone could understand for each other. i just wanted to drop in and say that sgt nichols has been and will be in my prayers until the day he returns to pendleton. please keep me posted on everything you can. you can email me at jmoore_03@hotmail.com. thank you. may god bless you

  17. Terry Malone, MSW says:

    I and my co-workers have been checking on Sam progress for months now. My family, my fellow veterans and members of our church have been prying for Sam, Erin and their families. I want you to know, Erin, that you have also been an inspiration for my family as well. My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer and you and Sam have given us hope. Thank you. We will continue to keep you all in our prayers. Sincerely, Terry and family

  18. SSGT Garcia, R says:

    I served with Sam back in 04-05. I just wanted to sent my prayers to him and his family!!!

  19. Alison says:

    Hi Sam! I had a really serious traumatic brain injury in 2003 and was in a coma for two weeks and had the right side of my skull taken off (now I have a prothetic one). I know that’s not as long as your coma was, but I want you to know that “the sky is the limit” if you work hard in rehab and have faith. While in a coma, the doctors said that I might never wake up, or that if I did, I would be very impaired and never able to care for myself. Even a few months into my rehab, they said that I would never be able to live independently. But, now it has been 4 years and I live 100% independently and am even in law school! Well, I go part-time because I still get very tired, and I get extra time for tests because my thinking is a bit slower. I can remember being so afraid that I would never be as happy as I was before my brain injury. But, Sam, honestly, I am just as happy as I was before – in fact, probably even happier because I appreciate everything so much more.
    The key is to keep working hard and have FAITH that you will get better. The brain is amazing and rewires itself, and because you’re young and healthy, the sky really is the limit. Everytime you’re doing rehab, your brain is getting better – it’s like doing pushups for you brain. If you keep working hard, you WILL get better and better- you’ll never stop getting better. You’ve already come so far!!!! Focus on all the progress you’ve made and remember that you’re going to keep making progress, and someday you’ll be able to help someone who is in the hospital recovering from a brain injury by giving them advice and understanding what they’re going through.
    Your hard work is an inspiration to me!!! And I will pray for you every night. Your strength is a beacon of light to everyone – thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. DOREEN TORRES says:

    Hello Sam & Erin,
    You do not know me nor have I ever met neither of you. I heard of this site from a dear friend of mine, Casey Kindra Griggs. She and Mitchell Green have visited you at the hospital recently. I remember her calling me and sharing with me your story. She was so inspired by your strength and endurance that she spoke of it in a way where it almost humbled her. After visiting this website and reading more on your progress, I have to admit it has brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy that is. I’m so pleased to hear of your progressing recovery and your unbreakable relationship with each other. My husband and I will pray for you every night, every morning and every time I’m driving in the car looking out my window. God doesn’t just listen at bed time. He’s open to prayer ANYTIME 🙂 Bless you both. Sincerely, Doreen & David Torres

  21. Dear Erin and Sam,
    Here it is, February 10th. After reading about your progress Sam, it sounds like your support network is strong because of their love for you. You continue to make progress because of your love for them. Erin, you care for Sam is a true labor of love. I am Doc Couhie’s Mom. Patrick has told us a little bit about Sam and about his great concern for Sam. Our family keeps Sam in our prayers. We pray for a miracle for Sam. This I truly believe in.
    Keep the faith. Remember that God carries you when times get rough.
    We send you our love and support.
    Sincerely,
    Suzanne & Michael Couhie, New Hampshire

  22. zachary couch says:

    Dear Sam and Erin,
    I just wanted to send my blessing to you two and let you know your in my prayers. My family is pretty wild with the religon thing and there lighting candles and whatnot for you as well. I know you will make it through this man, i mean hell,you always have a positive attitude in what ever the case, right? Just another step man, stay strong!
    Sincerely,
    Zach Couch

  23. Joyce Mork-O'Brien says:

    Dear Sgt. Sam and Erin – my son, Daniel, served with Sam in Kilo, and was with Sam when he was injured. He was devastated, and told me when he returned from Iraq that Sam was one of the finest officers he served under. Dan has since visited Sam at Palo Alto, and was impressed with the courage both Sam and Erin displayed. We think about you often, and pray that Sam will continue to make progress. Blessings on all of you.
    Sincerely,
    Joyce Mork-O’Brien (mother of Cpl. Dan O’Brien; Seattle, WA)

  24. Joni Canada says:

    Dear Sam and Erin, Cousins, I constantly am thinking about you and praying for you both for the peace and strength of our Lord to fill you both each and every day, I have your photo on my refrigerator at home with, “You go Sam”, and God heals!, this is to remind me and my family to keep you all in our prayers, also at work everyone knows of my cousins and what a miracle God is performing in his life and everyone who comes in contact with them! I have also given your name to anyone who listens to pray for you both. The work of the Holy Spirit and God are always working! We are so proud of you Sam and Erin for all the hard work you are doing and with such an amazing attitude and relentless faith! From, Matthew 17:20 “Nothing shall be impossible unto you. ” You two are living this out in reality, and give all of us the continued hope and faith which is needed in every day life and even more so when going through difficulties. God Bless You Both, In Christ, Joni

  25. Frank Taylor says:

    I found your sight while just surfing. I am so proud of both Sam and Erin. I was a Navy Corpsman for 10 years and served in the first Gulf war. For Sam- Keep pushing Marine….Semper Fi! For Erin, your strength and mental fortitude during this ordeal is unmeasurable. Keep a stiff upper lip and know that both of you are in my and my family’s prayers.

  26. Dan Clare says:

    Dear Sam and Erin,
    I just came upon your site and I’m very moved. You are a beautiful family.

    I just returned from a tour in Iraq and served at Balad Air Base, which was probably the terminal Sam took on his way to Germany. I saw a lot of guys come through and go.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for the courage you show and the inspiration you share. Thank you for reminding us of the sacrifices families continue to endure for our country.

    If there’s anything we can do to help you, please let us know.

  27. Kathy Slingsby says:

    Dear Erin and Sam,

    I cannot tell you how very proud I am of the two of you. You are both Heros in my eyes and in the eyes of many of my friends that have followed you since your Dad put this Blog on. You both are loved very much by everyone you touch, you are such a special couple. Erin maybe soon when your Dad and Mom are visiting maybe you will let us come visit for a short while also, we would love to see you.
    Love you always,
    Kathy Slingsy

  28. Lee Jenkins says:

    I cannot tell you how sad i am to see such a good looking young, healthy, man in the condition he is in now. My prayers go out to you, and your husband, what saddens me the most is, that this young man was injured in a senseless and meaningless war, and noting will convince me otherwise. I have lost all 3 of my brothers to Iraq. They were young men full of life and love for others, and full of patriotism. Our family has suffered lots of grief, and heartache, thankd to the criminals that are in Washington DC, and that is why my family is now in a mission to support our awesome young men over there and petition the government to bring them home, and to expose the truth about this horrible and senseless war, being forced upon our brave young men and women by the criminals in Washington DC. In closing i would like to say, the prayers of our family is with you, and in Jesus name he shall made whole, and proclaim his healing. Amen..

  29. Judi & Jeff says:

    Sam & Erin,
    Though we have not met personally, we have met in a way through the many deployed and stateside men and women with whom we speak each week. We want you to know that all of you are in our hearts and prayers – you are incredible Heroes of Freedom – and we thank you not only for our freedom, but for that of our children and all of our loved ones.
    May God guide your caregivers and your recovery.
    Judi & Jeff
    United We Roll

  30. SSgt Clayton says:

    Sgt. Nichols & Erin,
    July 24th 2008 I organized a memorial that day here in Okinawa where all of the Marines that deployed with us last year to Iraq all came out. We played some pictures, Cpl Casanovas gave a great prayor. Sgt Thresher, Doc Spells Gunny Comeaux and myself all spoke. It was a emotional night with alot of tears. Please let Sam know we all here think about him alot and miss him. We will never forget…
    SSgt Clayton 1st Plt.

  31. Wendy says:

    Hi Erin,
    I have just been reading the blogs about Sam’s progress during this past year. I wanted to encourage you…as I am impressed with how far Sam has come in one year. Think back to one year ago…..and where he is now. His life and his progress is nothing short of miraculous! I pray this brings you hope and encouragement for how much further God will take him. You are an incredible wife, support, partner in faith, source of strength, encouragement and life force for Sam. Are you taking notes yet? I seriously see your life being such a testimony of faith, hope and love for thousands and thousands of people….bringing them hope, encouragementm faith and strength. I pray daily for you both…for Sam’s total healing and restoration; for your strength, encouragement, hope and faith. God bless you! I pray for you daily!
    Wendy
    “God is the source of my strength , and my portion forever”

  32. TESSIE & EARL says:

    ALOHA,
    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOU WILL PREVAIL !
    THAT’S THE MESSAGE FROM MY HUSBAND EARL WHO’S CLIMBING THE SAME HILL ALONG SIDE YOU. FOLLOWING A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT.
    WE WILL KEEP YOU IN OUR PRAYORS.
    TESSIE & EARL

  33. Sgt. Nichols and family,

    I’m glad Sam is doing better! I don’t know if Sam was attending Casa Robles when i was there. I know he signed up years before me so the chances i ever saw him in person are pretty slim. I had just came back from my first deployment to Iraq when i read about what happened. My unit (* Sierra Battery 5/11) was really lucky not to have lost anyone in the months of heavy contact we continously recieved from iraqi insurgents the entire tour. I’m writing you while i’m currently serving on my second tour in Iraq.
    I’m not sure if there’s anything i can do for Sam or your family, but being a graduate from Casa Robles and a fellow Marine…(oddly enough from the same city,) if there’s anything you need please contact me.

    I’ll keep Sam and your family in my prayers!

    Cpl. Avalos, James
    USMC

  34. Doc Barlow says:

    Sam and Erin,

    It’s been a while since we’ve last spoke … i stumbled on this website in a kind of odd way. I googled “crazy hair” looking for funny pictures when I saw your face Sam. I couldn’t believe it, and since I clicked your picture I haven’t missed a day of reading through this website in over a week. I’m glad to hear of your progress, Doc Etienne used to keep me updated on your progress, he sends his hellos. Erin it’s awesome to see how wonderful of a wife you are to Sam, I wish you two both the best. It would be nice to hear from you guys if you get the chance. Happy Holidays … Sam keep getting better and we’re gonna have to call Vandever to go get a bowl of MoJo from KinVille 🙂 My e-mail address is Randall.Barlow@med.navy.mil … hope to hear from you guys.

  35. Hi Sam,and Erin
    I, sorry I dont coment much,but I must say after not stopping by for a while,and seeing all the MARACULUS improvements Sam has made,it brougt tears to my eyes.
    You keep at Sargent! “Eye Of The Tiger” buddy,You amaze me
    -Doc Hansen

  36. The Lord is faithful to put Sam on my heart and to lead me to check up on him. At those times I pray for Sam’s and Erin’s physical and emotional strength to be bolsteredn and most of all thank God for His grace to increase them with spirituyal strength and growth. Reading of Sam’s progress is such an inspiration to pray more as I see God giving His answers of “Yes!” and “Amen!” I love you both!

    in Christ < Marc
    former 2nd Bn 5th Marines Chaplain

  37. Karman Lucas, RN says:

    Hi Sam & Erin!

    I just wanted to say “Hi” and tell you both that I still think about you every day!! I am back in Missouri for now but definitely miss CA! I hope you all are doing well and still progressing. Kentfield sure was not the same after you left. I am still trying to spread the word for you both so we can let the world know to keep you in their prayers. Let me know if you need anything!! You are both amazing!!!!!!!!

    God Bless You both,
    Karman Lucas, RN

  38. Betsy Rosen says:

    Hi, Sam and Erin!
    I can’t believe I’m just going online to find you–it was so easy! I hope you’re still reading all these comments, because they go really far back….
    We think about you all the time at Kentfield and wish you were someplace closer–though I know Granite Bay is supposed to be beautiful. But are you still there? I am still such an idiot with the computer, I can’t seem to find the information I need. I see that the photo at the beginning of your site is the same one that looks down at me every single day, from the bulletin board in front of me here at home. And every single Sunday, when we say the names of those in the Armed Services we’re particularly praying for, I say your name out loud, Sam: “Sam.”
    I wish I had some beautiful Biblical quote right here, but would you believe my mind is a complete blank? Just watched your whole slide show, and though most of the pictures are from other places, it’s all very familiar to me. You both look great, as usual–and I’m sure you look even better now.
    I’m doing fine. HALLAM’S WAR comes out in paperback this Tuesday (August 4), so keep an eye out for it! And Erin, please write me directly and give me your new info and email address. Someone told me you’re back in the Sacramento area, and as I told you, I have a sister-in-law in Davis and we come up there several times a year. I would love to see you both. All my love, Betsy

  39. Esther says:

    Hi Erin and Sam,

    I just stumbled across your website. I was deployed to help arrange the patient movement so our wounded warriors could receive the best possible care. Ever since my deployment our family prays for our sailors, airmen and soldiers and their families.

    As I read the blogs your story is one of love, honor, dedication, courage and faith. Erin, I want to thank you for sticking with Sam and being the “doc” to care for him. Sam, thank you for your service and keep fighting! I will pray that God lifts you both up on eagle wings so that you do not get weary and that you feel his love and peace.

    God bless you.

    Esther

  40. Betsy Rosen says:

    Erin–

    Write to me! at betsyrosen@comcast.net

    I want to come up to the Sacto area at some point, and I want to see you and Sam!

    Love you both,

    Betsy

  41. Shasta Windham says:

    Sam and Erin

    I miss you both very much. I am truelly sorry that i have not come to visit Sam and i am hoping that the next tiem i get home i will be able to come spend a day with Sam. It is really hard fo me to everything into words being that this is something i see everyday in the army. Erin you are a true hero in my eyes. It takes a very special person to do what you have done Sam. You and your parents are probally the greates people i have ever met and Sam is the luckies man in the world to have you there with him and your family. I miss you all. Give Sam a Hug for me!!!

    Miss you
    Shasta

  42. Brendan says:

    Sam,
    I wish you the best of luck and pray for your continued recovery.
    SF,
    Brendan

  43. Jason Dunn says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for your service and the sacrifices of you and your comrades. I also graduated from Casa Roble and have served in Diyala province. I pray for your continued recovery and your family…..

    Semper Fi

    Jason
    93d Signal Brigade, US Army

  44. muddy waters says:

    Sam I am proud of you and thankful for your Service; my daily prayers will include a hope for your continued strength towards recovery and for your family that they stay strong as well–I cannot imagine the testing of faith, drain on feelings and bodily strength to keep going. May God bless you and your family and those of all our serving Service men and women.

  45. Sgt Moore 0861 says:

    Ran into Chad Christiansen a few months ago and he had told me about what happened and that you had a website. Just wanted you to know Sam that you were and always will be a squared away Marine and always a pleasure to be around and a good friend. Semper Fidelis PS: never give up.

  46. Renelle English says:

    Dear Nichols’s Family, My son Brian suffered a 2nd TBI in 2006 at the age of 34 (the first was auto accident at age 18, when a 17 yr old in a stolen car ran into him). We were told at the ER to go in and say our good-byes. Well I was not quite ready to accept that, so the Doctor did do surgery, giving us little hope of any recovery and stressing that if he did happen to make it thru the outcome would not be good..Well, we had the Priest give him the Sacrament of Healing & a lifetime friend of mine call her pastor and we all prayed over my son (Priest included)…Brian was in a comma for over a month in Reno, we had him transferred to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s TBI Unit and then on to Granite Bay, thru God’s Will, hard work and lots of prayers my son, is walking, talking, driving and working. Do not give up hope I have wittnessed the power of prayer, faith & heasling..and my son is with us because of it!!! And so did the Doctors, when Brian thanked his Nero-Surgeon, his response was “Brian, I had very little to do with it” My payers are with you Sam!!!

  47. Chris Wiggins says:

    I have faith in Sam. I know he will pull through hes has a strong mind and a tough will. I wish you all the best.

  48. Guerra says:

    Hey Leatherneck! We served together for my last pump out to Oki. I was surfing the net and found your site. I hope all is well with you and have you and all of our brothers in my prayers.

  49. You all must know that we think of Sam and Erin often, and our prayers do not cease for you all. We have had some health issues of our own, tha only remind us of how thankful we are to have the many blessings of good days, while others are going through fires that we can’t imagine. The day is coming, sooner than we think, when the Lord will call us all home…Eternity with King Jesus, and no more evil. God Bless you all.

  50. Dear Sam and Erin,

    I am so glad I got this notice on my email, to give me a chance to get in touch with you. How in the world are you both? THink of you often and hope everything is going as well as it possibly can. If you would send me an email address, I’d like to be in touch.

    In the meantime, sending you both all my love,

    Betsy

  51. Donnie Lincoln says:

    I served with Sam in Kilo and just found out about the site. Hope you are feeling well and would sure like to stay in touch. Until next time bro.

  52. Love you, Sam and Erin. Thinking of you and giving thanks for your progress on all fronts.
    Much love,
    Betsy

  53. Army Doc says:

    I stumbled upon this website after a deep conversation with my wife about my experience in Iraq. I may be wrong, but I think that they brought Sam to JSS east, right outside of Taji, after the incident and I may have treated him. Please email me.

  54. Kathryn R says:

    Hello,
    I recently met Julie, Sams mother-in-law, and I was touched when she referred to Sam, as really her son. Julie shared with me the details of her son’s injuries while serving our country in Aphganistan. First I want to thank Sam for his service to our country. Second I want his family to know I will keep Sam in my prayers and I know threw God’s strenth all will grow from and survive becoming stronger everyday. My son is a Marine just out of bootcamp. I will pass on Sam’s story to add more prayers and good wishes for him. God Bless you Sam. Kathryn

  55. Jodi Ginter says:

    I am a Canadian but I want to thank you Sam for serving your country. It is brave men and women who do this on both sides of the border that make our countries wonderful places to live.
    I am a mom to 4 wonderful children and one who is a TBI survivor. His name is Sam also. He was shot in the head with a .22 rifle July 28, 2008 and is a Flight Sgt. in Air Cadets. I look forward to reading more about your Sam’s recovery as it happens.
    Thank you for starting this blog and keeping it going and my family will be praying for you all!

  56. Anonymous says:

    Get better soon sam gods wishes are with you!

    bee!

  57. Just checking in on you again Sam….still thinking about you guys and hope everything is going well. Erin, as always, if you need anything…let us know!

  58. I havent’s seen any posts in quite some time , not sure why. I’m just wondering how Sam is doing.

  59. Brian Roth says:

    He is the man . Such a good hearted dude

  60. Anonymous says:

    Hi Erin, It is Peggy Murphy, we were at Kentfield with our son, John in 2008. Sam and John were always a team, strong in both mind body and determination. Think of you often, I found a book you gave me on the brain tonight, and I thank you for being who you are. You are special. Sam looks great in his pictures here and upon his retirement from the Marines. Sending you love and hugs, Peg Murphy.

    • Tony Neria says:

      Hi Peggy,

      I forwarded this email to Erin.

      Hope all is well with you and your family.

      Tony (Erin’s dad)

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  61. Betsy Rosen says:

    Hi, Peggy (and Erin and Sam),

    So glad to see some news of your and your family! Please give my love to John….

    Blessings and peace to all the Murphys,

    Betsy

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