I'm sure several of you have been wondering the same questions that I was wondering. WHO? WHY? And of course most importantly, how is Max doing?
I'll start with the story. Let's back up though to introduce you to the disgusting fella who hurt Max. I don't know his name so we'll just call him John.
Max and John used to be friends. Jeanne and Dave von Zastrow (my aunt and uncle, parents to Max) never did feel like John was a good kid to be friends with. While Dave, Jeanne and Max were on vacation, John decided to steal Dave's Jeep. He was driving it all around Moab and his plan was to drive it off a cliff and watch it explode. Luckily Moab is a small town where everyone knows everyone so he got caught before anything that horrible happened. When the von Zastrow's returned from their trip and learned of the incident, Jeanne talked to Max about not being friends with this kid anymore. Max agreed and just hanging out with him.
Jealousy got the best of John. Max was taller, cuter, had more friends, etc. A couple months ago he beat Max up at school. Killing Max became John's obsession it seems. He told kids at school that he had a gun with two bullets in it. One for him and one for Max. The day he hurt Max he was asking other kids, "If you were to kill somebody with a baseball bat, where would you hit them?"
Max and two friends always walk home from school together. That day Max had one of the boys come to his house. Jeanne was on a business trip and Dave was at work. Max was on the computer while his friend was watching TV on the couch. John and his friend made their way over to von Zastrow's house and quietly let themselves in. John stood being Max and swung the bat as hard as he could on the right side of Max's head. So hard in fact that it knocked the bat out of his hands and hit Max's friend on the shoulder. Then John and his friend took off. Max's friend saw him lying on the ground. He got Max, who was in and out of consciousness, to the car and rushed him to the hospital. They immediately life flighted him to a hospital in Grand Junction.
John has been arrested. Thank goodness!
Max is regaining consciousness and is starting to reason better. He is still in and out of sedation. He's in a lot of pain, obviously, and is especially annoyed with the catheter. According to Jeanne, Max is improving and getting his sense of humor back. For example, he was being asked about his body temperature. "Max, are you hot?" To which he replied, "Of course I am!" He has permanent hearing loss in his right ear, and the nerves in his face have been severely damaged. Doctors hope that with therapy his nerves can be improved or restored. I believe one of the main concerns right now is that he still has spinal fluid leaking out of his ear. I guess that's a bad thing.
Jeanne and Dave are overwhelmed with the outpour of love and support from family, friends, acquaintances, members of the church, and even people they don't know. I think they feel very grateful and humbled. In Jeanne's words, "To everything there is a purpose and a reason under heaven." What a great attitude to have amidst the horrific event.
We love you Max, Jeanne and Dave and continue to pray and think about you constantly. Despite the event, you will be blessed and this trial will make you even stronger.