Friday, April 3, 2009

Update

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.

16 comments:

Waggoner Family said...

I am shocked by that story. I am SO glad "John" is in custody. What a psycho! I am still praying for Max and for your sweet family. I miss you and love you!

Holly said...

Its really makes you think about how awful Satan is- to entice a boy to feed on his jealousies, urges and temptations to the point he is a monster. This story is so scary- its makes me never want to let my boys out of my sight- so they don't behave badly or become victims themselves. Which makes me think- where was this boy's mother??

Sarah Jane said...

Psycho is right! It's so crazy how someone can get that bad! I hope he can keep getting better!

Karli said...

I am so glad to hear that John is in custody and that Max seems to be on the up and up. As for what your aunt said, I believe that there is a reason for MOST things. But some things just happen because of the bad decisions that others make, and because we are here on a test, we have to be allowed to make those choices. The Lord cannot come in and stop all bad things from happening to the underserving because he has to allow people to make their own decisions and deal with those consequences. So, it all comes down to our attitude and how we deal with it. You family definitely seems to have the right attitude and are getting their strength from God at this time. It's hard to see, but trials like this are an opportunity that should not be taken for granted or wasted...Be humbled, be blessed, be learned, be better, be changed forever.

John and Tiff said...

Oh my goodness, Angie! That story is insane! I am keeping Max and all of you in my prayers. Oh, that makes me so sad. It sounds like Max is an incredible boy and his mom and dad are very strong. I know the Lord will bless you all in the way He sees best. I love you!

Whitehorn Family said...

I just read the story on Cassie's.
I cannot believe this kid. I mentioned on Cassie's blog that our thoughts and prayers are towards Max and your family. I'm glad to hear that things are progressing postively. What a tragic event.

Amy said...

What a crazy story. I hope Max continues to recover well!

Mommas said...

I am glad to hear an update. I talked to James yesterday and had heard most of it. I am concerned with the spinal fluid leak too, but I continue to pray for him. I think I told you that I put Max and his parents names in the Temple. I will fast for them today. Please give ALL your family and extended family my love.

Crystal said...

I can not believe that! It scares me that we have kids entering this sick world. I'll pray for that family.

Melissa said...

Oh my word, I just cannot believe that! What the crap is wrong with people? I feel so bad for your Aunt and Uncle and Max. I hope he continues to get better and better. That's a long road but he sounds like a strong kid.

Amy W. said...

I've been thinking about your cousin since I read the first post about him! I'm so glad to hear this other kid has been arrested! I hope Max continues to heal and improve and that by nothing short of a MIRACLE and answer to prayers Max has a full recovery!! It just makes me so sad to hear of these things!! Please continue to keep us all updated! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers!!

Jeanne von Zastgrow said...

Oh my, I am in Max's hospital room taking my night shift and have just found this blog and your comments. Thank you so much for all the prayers, love and support to our family. Max was upgraded to serious from critical. This is a journey that has given us more faith in people and in God, and we know we are in the care of ministering angels. Thank You! Jeanne von Zastrow

The Silfies Family said...

Oh my goodness, what a tragic thing to happen to Max. I am so glad the he is regaining consciousness and is starting to show some of his sense of humor again. Our family continues to pray for your family and for a fast recovery for Max.

Nicole said...

Oh my goodness! Please let yor family know that they are in our prayers!

Lisa Watters Stassforth said...

I was Jeanne's college roommate. Thank you for the story on Max. I knew about it through Facebook but didn't know the details. I was devastated to hear of it.

Candleman said...

I too am extremely thankful to hear that Max is improving. He has been in my prayers since I heard of the incident.

I wish we would put John's name in the temple too. I wish we would pray for him as well. John is also a member of the church, has a brother on a mission and a frightened, confused and loving family. I wish we would also pray for them.

John is in dire need of help, love, forgiveness and redemption. While, no-one approves of what he did. I hope we can get past our judgmental horror and realize that he too is somebody's son, that his parents weep for him and lay awake at night wondering what went wrong.

Max and John are both children of a loving Father in Heaven. I pray that one day the two of them will walk arm in arm into His heavenly abode.