He's a miracle ...”
– Jackie, Mom
Max wasn’t given much of a chance after a Labor Day weekend car accident in 2014.
“We thought we were going to the hospital to say goodbye,” said his mother, Jackie, of Silver Spring.
Shock Trauma doctors at University of Maryland Medical Center said the percentage of Max surviving the head-on collision with a tree [he was a passenger, wearing a seat belt] was exactly the same as his age.
“They gave him a 17 percent chance,” said Jackie. “We weren’t very hopeful.”
After initial surgeries – and once the touch-and-go period had passed - details were scarce about what the future might look like for the former Montgomery County lacrosse player.
“We had no idea,” said Jackie, 49. “Would he lose his arm? Walk again? We knew nothing about his mental state.”
On October 3, 2014 – his parent’s 21st wedding anniversary - Max was transferred to Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, chosen by the family from a short list of options in the metropolitan area.
The family said they selected Mt. Washington because of its close relationship to the University of Maryland, where Max’s life was saved. The North Baltimore campus would become Max’s home for the next five months, during which he went back to the UM Medical Center to have his crushed right elbow replaced by one from a cadaver.
On March 5, 2015, Max returned to the family home – “so happy!” he said - to be with Mom, his father Larry and brothers Sam and Jackson.
“He’s a miracle, he does everything – he’s got youth on his side and the young bounce back,” said Jackie, though she doubts Max will be able to play competitive sports again. “He can walk without crutches, go up and down stairs, takes a shower by himself.”
“Mt. Washington helped me in so many ways – walking, talking, eating and bathing myself,” said Max. “They helped me get back to [being] me.”
“As good as he can be. I’m cried out now but it was every parent’s worst nightmare come true,” said Jackie, the daughter of an Air Force pilot and the stoic parent while Larry, a printing salesman – “wears his heart on his sleeve.”
Max goes to Mt. Washington three days a week for therapy in speech, work to strengthen his elbow and cognitive therapy. He sees the same care givers each time and has become especially close to physical therapist assistant Sam Bell.
And he is not the same young man he was on August 30 of last year, when, after a night of partying, the convertible Chrysler in which he was riding shotgun left the roadway.
“This experience made me realize I have been given a second chance,” said Max. “I don’t want to blow it – not just for me but for my family and everyone who helped me” return to an active life.
“He thinks differently,” said Jackie, noting that the experience opened Max to the idea of a possible career in medicine. “He realizes that God saved him for something bigger ...”
To schedule outpatient appointments or learn more about our programs, call us at 410-367-2222.