22 September 2008 119 Comments

Tragedy, family, friends and neighbors

It wasn’t but 8 days ago when I posted a photo of Max playing soccer on a warm summer day in Bend. Today I find myself looking after him with Laurie at the Oregon Burn Center in Portland. The amount of support we have received has been overwhelming and Laurie and I thank everyone so much for their thoughts and prayers. Everything has been happening so fast – it’s been hard for us to keep up with letting everybody know how Max is doing so I think it’s best to just post his status here as he is being treated.

On my way out the door to Portland on Friday I made my best attempt to let family and friends know what had happened, but in my haste (and using Laurie’s computer) I didn’t get an email out to everybody so I will recap what happened and end with where we are today.

Friday evening Max was standing outside by the bbq grill when our friend Eric was making an attempt to re-light the fire w/ some sort of fuel. Max tells me now that he was standing about six feet away from the grill when the fuel my friend was using exploded. I was sitting inside talking to Laurie  when all of a sudden we saw this massive explosion right outside the side patio – I had never seen such a thing before in person. The 1st thing I thought of was Max. I immediately ran outside and saw both Max and friend partially on fire – I ran towards Max and tackled him to the ground rolling him and smothering him as best I could. With the the fire off his body I ran with him to the car to take him to the hospital – but then someone called the ambulance so we waited. We grabbed as many towels as we could and soaked them in cold water to put on Max and my friend – skin was just peeling off of his face, arms and chest – Max still didn’t realize what just happened – and didn’t know at 1st why his sister and mother were screaming and why I was acting so crazy. The ambulance came, Laurie left with Max and I took Ana to her Grandparents house as fast as I could.

After dropping of Ana and explaining to mom and dad what had just happened I took off to the hospital – and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Max started to realize what had happened and was looking at us staring at his face and was getting a little concerned – he had very serious burns on his left arm, face and chest – so the doctors decided he needed to be flown to The Burn Center immediately – my friend was to go as well, but he took the helicopter not the jet.

Once the decision was made that Max was going to Portland, I left for home to get whatever I thought I would need for our stay.

I got home – threw some clothes, toothbrushes in a bag, stopped, typed up a quick email and sent it off to whoever I could think of at the time – I let the dogs out got in the Pathfinder and raced to my dads house picked him up plugged the hospital in the GPS, got fuel made hotel reservations and headed for Portland.

The drive up there was torture – my father did his best by talking about anything but what had just happened to Max – I as a father I kept thinking how could I let something like this happen to my son. What could I have done to prevent this – why did this happen?… I had no idea how bad the burns were, if Max was going to be OK – his beautiful 10 yer old skin had been chard from his body, his eyebrows were gone, eyelashes burnt, I kept on seeing him as I did when I ran out there after the explosion – blank stare on his face while his hair was on fire, then his skin peeling off as I was trying to keep the wet towel on him – then my phone rang as we were entering Sandy – it was Laurie.

‘Hey honey, the Dr looked at Max and he thinks he’s going to be ok. his arm is kind of bad, but his face may be ok – he can see, and still feel – but we’re going to be here for about 2 weeks’ My state of mind went from uncertainty to relief – my stomach stopped churning and I felt my foot get a bit lighter – my dad immediately called my mom and left a message.

Laurie was there about an hour and a half before we arrived – We 1st went to the emergency center, but they directed us across the street to the Burn Center (which is where I am now). We buzzed the door told them who we were and they let us in (it was after hours). Once inside there were a series of doors we had to go through to get to where Max was – but it was quick.

I remember walking into the room with my dad – it was very quiet, somewhat brightly lit and there were two nurses working on Max. They had already mostly finished wrapping him up. His head was mostly covered with dressing less a few holes for his nose and eyes, they had already wrapped his arm and were just finishing his chest – ‘Have you washed your hands?’ one of the nurses asked. We were directed to the hand washing station before we could approach Max.

Immediately after washing my hands I quietly walked up to Max who was sedated and appeared to be unresponsive. I whispered in his ear ‘Max it’s dad, I’m hear’ – his head jerked toward me and his right hand moved up to reach for me. I squeezed it just hard enough to let him know I was right there. He let go of my hand and then gave me the thumbs up – and then put his hands back down and was out again.

Max had tubes and wires all over him – he had a tube in his nose to feed him, a tube in his mouth to make sure he could breath,  a catheter in him so he wouldn’t have to get up to go to the bathroom, IV in his arm for hydration and potassium, a blood pressure gauge on his ankle, a blood oxygen reader on his finger. These guys had him covered. I believe the people at St Charles actually put the breather tube in him before the flight.

Our 1st night here was rather bizarre – after spending a little bit of time with Laurie and making sure Max was OK I took dad to the hotel and drove right back here. Dad was looking tired and I knew he could have used some sleep – All of us had gone from 0 to 200 in seconds and we still had no idea what the final outcome would be. They set us up with cots in the waiting room so we took turns staying with Max and the whole time I was just starring at him, thinking is this really happening?

The next day (Saturday) was amazing – Max did not look good at all – but it was amazing to get calls, emails, and text messages of support from our family, friends, and neighbors. Laurie’s brothers and childhood friend flew in from the east coast, my brother just happened to be in Portland with his wife for a Wedding so he was here too. Max’s face was swelling up by morning, healing, but it looked bad – his spirits were up and he would give us the thumbs up on occasion and would gesture with his two arms up for hugs. They had been medicating him for the pain that he was no doubt in. Throughout the morning and afternoon he would have moments of lucidity, gesturing in the air like he wanted to write something – so we gave him a pen and paper. His eyes were swollen shut, and he couldn’t talk but he still wanted to communicate with us. The 1st thing he wrote was ‘The hospital is fun’. We laughed and tried to give him the best hug we could without crushing the tubes and wires and touching his dressings – we wanted to kiss him so bad, but his lips were just raw flesh. After a moment – he realized that it was just Laurie my dad and I and he gestured for the pen again and wrote ‘I love you guys’. I started to cry. How could this little dude who was just on fire less than 24 hours ago be so strong and spirited! He was keeping our spirits up because he felt we were upset.

The day progressed with dressing changes, family visits, phone calls, emails, texts, and just starring at Max. I made my best attempt to keep people in the loop, but realized after several hours I was loosing my ability to focus on anything else but Max. I may have returned some phone calls, but it’s a blur at this point.

It’s Sunday early morning and Max is actually doing really well! The swelling on his face has gone down considerably and the doctor says his face looks like it’s going to be OK, but he’s a little concerned about his arm which is bordering a 2nd degree burn – his face was mostly 2nd degree burns, which appear to be healing – but with burns I’ve learned it can go either way.

He has just one tube in him now for food, but that’s it. He hopped out of the bed today and we took him for a roll in to the beautiful garden here. He walked around for a bit to go to the bathroom (record pee time for him today) and his appetite has come back (he was nauseous yesterday and vomited pretty much everything that was pumped into him). I’ve been helping the nurses remove and replace his dressings – Laurie helps too and has been right next to Max this whole time. There was one sad moment today when Max looked in the mirror and saw his face for the 1st time – he gasped and was shocked – he didn’t recognize himself and was scared – we assured him he was getting better and this was just part of the process. I think seeing himself really put things in perspective for Max – he’s as strong as ever and now understands what happened. He’s such a strong kid and we are so proud of him. We’ve been with him this whole time, watching movies, reading, playing roshambo, talking, explaining, and mostly relaying messages of encouragement from our family and friends. I just want to say thank you to everyone for your awesome show of support and prayers – I believe it is really helping Max’s healing process with everyone thinking positively!

The doctor came in today and gave us a bit of encouragement. We may not have to be here for 2 whole weeks – Max seems to be healing well, so that’s good to hear. Eric is also here and is doing OK – he may need some surgery to his arm/side but we will know more later this week.

It’s getting late and I’m tired, but wanted to write about Max’s condition here and continue to post his progress for family, friends and neighbors to see. Thank you all for all your positive thoughts, support, and well wishes. We really really appreciate it and realize that without you guys this would have been way way harder!

119 Responses to “Tragedy, family, friends and neighbors”

  1. Kim, Rik and Jak 22 September 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Dear Max! Owie, Jak sends his best kiss for your speedy recovery. And we are thinking of you too!
    We are proud of your bravery and know you will feel better soon.
    Love,
    Kim, Rik and Jak

  2. Cousin Gavin 22 September 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Max how are you feeling if there is anything I can buy and mail to you just tell me and I will have it mailed to you emediately at the moment I was going to get you a book on tape the is one of my favorites THE MIST MANTL CHONICALS (URCHIN AND THE RIDING STARS). And remember in a year from now the accident will just be a distant memory.

    P.S. If your trying to figure out what you want to watch at night choose the simpsons movie!!!!!!!

  3. Cathy Brimacombe 22 September 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Hi Max,
    You cannot imagine how many people at High Lakes are thinking about you and pulling for you. We were so sorry-and stunned-to hear about your accident and all that you are going through. I know that your great attitude will pull you through this and I am so happy that you are already starting to heal. Know that you are MISSED and we can hardly wait for you to come back to school. Have Mom and Dad read you some books too!!! (you know that I just HAD to say that!) Stay strong–we miss you! Love from Mrs. Brim in the Media Center

  4. wrongdude 22 September 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    Laurie Max and I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for all the kind words, thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes during this. We are truly grateful to live among such a supportive community both near and far. Thank you all – I truly believe your support is really having an profound effect on Max.

    Max is sleeping now – I had opened up my laptop and started reading him everyone’s posts, some people he knew, others kind of, and some not at all – it didn’t matter to him. As I was reading post after post after post his eyes started glazing over, he was truly touched. As I got to this most recent post I glanced over and realized he was falling to sleep. Max always enjoyed a good bed time story and these were just perfect. :^)

    Today Max had a really good day.

    we woke up around 7:30 chatted for a bit and he asked me if I wanted to play Mario Cart (There’s a portable ‘Fun Center‘ – An all in one flat screen, Nintendo Game Cube and dvd player). I said ‘Totally!’ and we started it up. I some how got distracted, and he started playing while I was doing some mundane task – but quickly picked up the controller after. The cool thing was, in order to play two player, you have to thumb trough various screens to get to the multi-player screen. Something cool happened here – Typically when we previously played this game together it was at this point when he would select ‘player 1 vs. player 2 – he wouldn’t even think about it – It was me vs him in some crazy virtual competition all in good fun. This time he paused for a brief moment and without even asking he automatically chose the version below, which was team multiplayer. Me and him vs the bots. I looked at him and smiled – he just kept on staring at the sceen and asked – ‘Who do you want to be?‘

    We played for a short time, and he was getting tired so we put the game away.

    He saw his aunt Patty and uncle George before they left for home, my dad took them to the airport, and I stayed to help change Max’s dressings.

    He is for sure getting better, his swelling is going down, but the pain is starting to kick in – a good sign believe it or not. The pain means his nerves are waking up and new skin is starting to develop.
    Peeling the old dressing off his chest is not so bad, the burns are pretty sever, but not as bad as the ones on his left arm. He’s been doing some left arm lifts as prescribed by the in-house therapist. Peeling the dressings off of his face is kind of tricky – we have to peel them back really slowly and rub Polysporin on as we are peeling the old dressing off. Every day that we have done this we ask him what the pain is like on a scale from 1 to 10. Saturday it was around a 1, Sunday it was 2 to 3 and today we reached 5 – each time he was taking the same amount of pain medication. He is starting to feel his lips again and actually swallowed a piece of skin from them by accident – gross.

    After the dressing, he took a little rest and my dad and I went for a walk. When we got back, I started reading Max some of the posts – he stopped me after I read one particular post – actually it was the one from Carol,Ana,Gregg – ‘Um dad, could you get me something to play with like legos?’ It was perfect timing. I closed the laptop and was more than happy to fulfill his request.

    I had to take my dad to the airport anyways, so I made it a airport/lego run.

    We arrived at the airport. I hugged my dad, wished him a safe flight back to Bend (he just called and is back ok) and took off toward the only shopping area I knew was close which was the Lloyd Center.
    No Legos, but was told there was a Fred Meyer nearby, so I went there. Not only did they have Legos, but they had this really cool mini remote controlled Mach 5 (from Speed Racer) – I had to get it for him too – along with a couple of Hot Wheels and a bunch of balance Bars – the Dr said he needs protein and lots of calories and Max eats Balance Bars like they were some sort of candy.

    On my way back, I passed a Pizza Shmitza on Broadway – I had to turn around! Max loves pizza too, so I stopped grabbed a slice (and and IPA for me) and two slices to go – 1 pepperoni and 1 with some fancy gourmet stuff on it for Laurie.

    He was thrilled (as thrilled as I had seen him in since this morning).
    He devoured the pizza! Almost all of it – well pretty much all of it if you don’t count the crust. He actually had just had some chicken and noodles before, but couldn’t resist pepperoni pizza.

    My cousin Nicole stopped by today too – it was good to see her for sure – she sat next to Max and talked for a little and then had to go – but she wouldn’t leave unless we gave her our dirty clothes for her to clean. :^)

    After eating some more, playing with the remote controlled car, and watching some TV, he was getting tired so I started reading him some more posts and he passed out.

    A nurse came in and gave him some more medication, and now he’s just completely passed out with Laurie and I next to him – his favorite stuffed animal ‘Pooh’ is next to him along w/ a couple of unopened Hot Wheels.

    A great day so far!

    Thank you all again for your support! Whether you are stopping by, emailing texting, posting or sending video mails, or even Balloons (Thanks TS Weekly, Amelia Bedilia and Cheaters!), Max, Laurie and I send a huge huge thank you to all of you! And a special thanks for the peeps watching Coco & Lucy (our super senior chocolate lab and lovable Basset Hound dogs at home) and mom for watching over Ana while we are here. Thanks mom – I know you are having a blast with your granddaughter – we just want her back when we return. :^)
    More later.

  5. Kelly, Kent, Miles & Slater 22 September 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    Hi Max its Miles do you play spore?… well hope you get well soon. You can send emails to my Mom. sending good thoughts:)

  6. Bryce Soucy 22 September 2008 at 7:04 pm #

    max
    i keep telling my mom to send you legos but she was afraid your arm was too hurt. what kind do you like? mars, or inndiana jones, or city? we will send you something cool. or maybe a vidoe game if you want.
    bryce soucy
    sorry to hear about the burn

  7. All of Delaware ... Aunt Rene Cousins Lizzie, Anthony and Taylor 22 September 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    Hey Max!

    Just wanted you to know that all of Delaware (and Pittsburgh) is rooting for you! And … a reminder … that Penn State beat the pants off Oregon a few weeks ago!

    Hugs hugs and more hugs!

    Stay strong kiddo! We’ll be playing frisbee in Bend again real soon!

    Love you all sooooooooooooooooooo much!

  8. Erica and Jamie 22 September 2008 at 9:56 pm #

    So sorry to hear what happened! Max, you’re a tough little dude that couldn’t ask for a better family so I know you’ll be back on the soccer field in no time! Carlos, we live five minutes from Legacy, so don’t be afraid to call if you guys need anything…I’ll call you tomorrow to find out the best time to stop by. If Max gets bored with Nintendo, Jamie would be happy to bring over his Wii. : )

  9. Tracey Bellone 23 September 2008 at 8:58 am #

    Hey Max! Hope you are feeling better – we were very worried about you but are so happy you are ok. We asked Uncle Kevin what toys we could send but he didn’t know. I heard you are playing video games so can you let us know some of the games you want?

    Laurie and Carlos – Thanks for updating us with this blog – all of the Scala’s are thinking of you. If you need anything, please let me know…..We love you all.

    Tracey, Steve and Kaite

  10. Mrs. Stirling 23 September 2008 at 9:15 am #

    Hey Max,
    It’s Mrs. Stirling and your class. We’re all very concerned about you The kids want me to tell you:
    “We miss you and hope you get better soon.”
    “We’re sorry about what happened to you and hope hope you feel better.”
    “We can’t wait till you get back to school!”
    Stay tough Max. You can do anything you set your mind to! Remember that spelling word, breathe? Well remember to breathe. You’ll be back sooner than you know it, and I’ll be able to give you loads of homework! 🙂
    With love and caring from everyone at High Lakes Elementary,
    Mrs. Stirling, the President, Vice-President, and the Congress

  11. Roy and Beth & family 23 September 2008 at 9:52 am #

    Max, Carlos and Laurie,

    We were all very sorry to hear about your accident. Things like this are not supposed to happen especially to kids.

    Carlos, sometimes things do happen. Not your fault. Max was lucky you were there and acted quickly. It could have happened with no one around.

    We’re glad to hear that Max is doing better. He’s a tough kid and soon will be back to his old tricks. You have a great family and a fantastic support network.

    By the way Max. You might want to milk this a little. That teacher you have sounds tough.

    The Reynolds

  12. wrongdude 23 September 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    Wow, I finally have a clear mind to write something that may make sense. Carlos has been the rock during this entire experience. I always wondered how I would be in a time of serious crisis and now I know, but what a horrible way to find out. I won’t get into the details, but I was the emotional, screaming one you see in movies, and Carlos was the level headed calm one. One of the many ways we balance each other out.

    Thanks so much for all of your emails, calls, texts, and gifts. I love how Carlos set up this blog so I can let everyone know what’s going on. Sorry, sometimes it’s hard to return all of the calls and such. I know for sure that all of the positive energy has been helping Max and especially Carlos and me. People really do need people :^) K, S and K! thanks so much for flying out here!xoxo

    Today is our 4th full day here! At this moment and in this situation, I couldn’t imagine being any where else. The staff, there is a lot of them here at the center, is amazing! I am so grateful for the Bend ER doctors for making the decision to have Max here. Gosh we have very educated doctors in Bend. Wonderful doctors in the Air life Dept too.

    At the moment, Max is sitting in his chair constructing a huge Speed Racer lego set! It makes my heart smile to see him do one of his favorite things. We had some music on earlier, and I noticed his foot tapping to the beat. He loves to dance and can’t wait to see him get his grove on. He still has the feeding tube and hasn’t mentioned it today. Yesterday it was bothering him, and he asked to get it out. The doctors told him he would need to eat double the amount of food every day for it to be removed. Max is not really a big eater…well unless we have Pizza Mondo or Cibelli’s. Wow he can chow through that!
    He cracks me up though cause when the doctors do come in, he shoves whatever food item that is on the tray into his mouth!

    It is a beautiful day and hope to get Max in the garden. There is a tunnel here, haven’t seen it yet, that connects this unit to the main hospital. Max would like to check that out. The doctor encourages Max to talk a walk and get the blood flowing. I am all up for that!

    Today we will find out some more info on his burns. His arm continues to change. We will continue to update the blog. I need to sign off.
    Max is a beautiful boy who continues to teach me every day. I admire his strength and spirit and am so blessed to have him as my son and blessed to have a compassionate and loving husband.
    Thanks for your continued support and prayers. We so appreciate it!
    Can’t wait to see everyone soon, especially my little Ana!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    much love, Laurie

  13. Bonackers 23 September 2008 at 3:21 pm #

    Max! You’re one tough nut and we are so proud of you and your family. We’re all thinking of you and wishing you the best. Frankie will write later…

  14. chuck arnold 23 September 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Hi,

    Thinking of you guys. Tearing up as I read the story and trying to find something to say something that is helpful. I’ve got nothing.

    You have a great support group in this community and you know that we are all here to help.

    Cheers, Chuck Arnold

  15. Bonackers 23 September 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    hi max
    me and my family really miss you and want you to get better soon! i hope you get better soon so we can see you and give you a big hug because thats is the onle great gift i can give but that is a diffrent story.

    talk to ou later.

    from frankie

  16. frankie 23 September 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    hi its frankie angen and just wanted to say hi and i know i say this all the time but get well soon.

  17. Heidi Brown 23 September 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Max and Family,

    I have not met any of you, but am a Poekoelan student in Portland. Please know that all of you are in our thoughts, and we are setting our intentions for your quick healing and recovery. There are many Poekoelan people here in Portland, and if any of you need anything, including a slice of pizza, please just let us know. Take care and get well soon. Bantoe Heidi

  18. Goeroe Jennifer 23 September 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    Hello Perez family and Mas Max,
    All of us at the Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen schools in Bend and Portland are sending our prayers and thinking of you.
    Mas Max, we’re looking forward to seeing you in action very, very soon!
    Wishing you speedy healing and all the best,
    Goeroe Jennifer

  19. Katherine 23 September 2008 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi Max,
    I train at One With Heart in Portland. You have a whole community here that loves you and has you in our thoughts every day. When you are better, come train with us. We can’t wait to meet you.

    Katherine

  20. Jeff Monson 23 September 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    Good luck to you Max. Piper is my daughter in your class. She told me about what happened. Get well soon.

    Jeff

  21. Carrie, Dave(MrE), Jalan and Drake 23 September 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    Hello Carlos, Laurie and Max,
    We were shocked to hear the news, but so thrilled to read all this wonderful news of your recovery going well.
    Max we’re sending you heaps of love and healing light to speed your recovery even more.
    Much love,
    The Casa Quincy Gang

  22. pendekkar marian 23 September 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    hi mas max and family,
    this is pendekkar marian and i wanted you all to know that we are all keeping our intentions for very very speedy healing.
    hope to see you soon!
    love, pendekkar marian

    laurie and carlos, maybe you want to look into homeopathic remedy cantharis. i got that when i burned my face with french press coffee and it sped up the healing and hardly a mark.
    love and strength to you in this challenging situation.

  23. Phyllis Mageau and family 23 September 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    Dear Carlos, Laurie and Max,
    I don’t know you but my son,Jake is Max’s classmate. We are so sorry this happened to you Max. If there is anyway way we can help we are here for you. Please do not hesitate to call us @ 948-0447. We will pray for all of you and a speedy recovery.
    Phyllis and family

  24. the Crocker Family 23 September 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    God Bless you and your family!
    My daughter, Payton, is in Max’s class. Ever since we heard about Max our hearts have been broken. We have talked about together and as a family regularily.
    After reading your blog (and MANY tissues) I can see that you have an amazing son and a strong family.
    Even though we are strangers we are here for you, in thoughts, prayers, a helping hand….
    whatever we can do.
    Thumbs up to Max!
    Sincerely,
    Lisa, Marcus, Payton, Campbell, and Sawyer Crocker

  25. All of Delaware ... Aunt Rene Cousins Lizzie, Anthony and Taylor 23 September 2008 at 7:09 pm #

    Wow! Wow! Wow! There are hundreds – if not thousands of people praying for you, thinking about you and sharing your story so more prayers can be said.

    Max … you are a true hero! You have your very own fan club and so many are watching and listening to you navigate through this very difficult time with the strength, determination and spirit that we all wish we had. We are so proud of you!

    Laurie … you mentioned that you are learning from Max and admiring his resolve to heal and recover. That is certainly true, sister … but, you, are one tough mama! And YOU are the one I am admiring right now. I love you!

    Carlos … this website is amazing! Your calm and life saving actions in the most critical of moments will never be overlooked. Sorry, Kevin, Carlos is #1 Brother-in-Law now – hands down!

    As the prayers continue… so do the answers. God is very very good!

    Love to you all!

    -Aunt Irene

  26. Kristine Cecil 23 September 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Dear Max, Carlos, Laurie and Ana,
    I’m Harold’s sister (Michelle’s sister-in-law) and Blake and Maya’s aunt — I’ve heard so much about your entire family (I know I met you briefly, Carlos) and know that you are much loved. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you! Max, hang in there and let people fuss over you — it will make them feel better 🙂

    Sending hugs to you all,
    Kristine Cecil

  27. The Legum's 23 September 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    Dear Laurie & Carlos & Max & Ana,

    Our hearts and prayers are with you all. We are wishing you a strong and healthy recovery. You guys are in our thoughts! Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

    The Legums

  28. Michelle Soucy 23 September 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    I just wanted to say how happy I was to talk to you today Laurie. You sounded so much different than a few days ago and I can tell things are looking up out there! I am so overwhelmed to know that. What an amazing journey you have all been through! To think your learning from Max, and imagine what he is learning from seeing you and Carlos work so well together for HIM! I am so proud of both of you for being so strong for each other! I love you both and am sending hugs and kisses to you all!

  29. Madison 23 September 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    Dear Carlos an Laurie,
    I hope Max will be ok! Caleb an I miss Max very much.Tell Max we miss him very much and we hope he will be ok .
    Love ,
    Madison and Caleb

  30. Marika 23 September 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    Dear Carlos and Laurie,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all! Max we hope you keep you spirits up and know we are waiting for you to get back soon so we can bring you some treats from Goody’s! We are thinking of you!! and sending you lots of good thoughts and sunshine!

    Love,
    Marika, Madison and Mason

  31. Kristin, Gregg & Ella 23 September 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    We just got back into town and read your email. Our hearts and positive energy go out to you. Please if you need any help with anything; dogs, house, etc. Please let us know.

    Kids are amazing healers, Max, be strong!

  32. Heather Brenda and Gladiators 23 September 2008 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi Max,
    We are really missing you on the soccer field. Keep up the great attitude and getting strong. You are such a great kid and a great soccer player. Our prayers are with you and your family.

    Lots of love from your teammates and Heather!!!

  33. Cathal, Eoin Doyle 23 September 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    Laurie, Carlos and Max
    Delighted to hear Max is doing so well. Our prayers are with you and your family. Cathal is looking forward
    to riding on the bus again with Max and playing XBox.
    Love
    The Doyle Family

  34. Mary Ann Porter 23 September 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi Max

    You don’t know me, I am Kathy Jo’s mom and I met your dad one day at the store while visiting in Bend. I was sorry to hear about your accident but so happy to hear that you are doing very well.. You are very fortuate to be surrounded by such a wonderful family and your many friends. I will be praying for you to have a speedy and complete recovery.

    Take care
    Mary Ann Porter

  35. wrongdude 24 September 2008 at 12:56 am #

    Max, Laurie and I are so thankful for and appreciative of everyone’s well wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts. Thank you friends, family, friends of friends and family and people who we have yet to meet.

    Today was another great day on the road to recovery for Max. :^)
    The morning started at around 7:30 with Max and I huddling around a box of Legos – Speed Racer Legos. We had made plans the night before to start building first thing in the morning – that’s when he felt he had the most energy. Originally he wanted to start around 9am to make sure I had enough sleep, but I said no way dude – 7:30 it is. Max popped out of bed grabbed his pole on wheels – he is still being fed through a tube – and sat down next to me. We lowered the portable bed tray and turned into a Lego building station – we were set. We practically spent the whole morning building Legos. It was great. The world around us seemed to disappear. Laurie spent much of that time catching up on emails talking to friends and family and reading posts to us while we were busy putting together race cars.
    During that time the nurses came in regularly to check on Max, making sure he was eating well and kept on clearing his throat to prevent any stuff from gathering in his lungs – from having the breathing tube in. He was introduced to a cool mechanism that would exercise his lungs by encouraging him to inhale as hard as he could through a tube.

    We were almost finished when lunch arrived – lunch being a hamburger with some other side items. Breakfast by the way was bagel with cream cheese for Max. The burger was not that good according to Max so I ran out to Pizza Shmitza for some real food. ;^)
    A slice of Pepperoni later Max was feeling good and I was ready to finish up the Lego Speed Racer set, when a lady walked in and introduced herself as someone over at the Hospital school for kids.

    Max just looked at me w/ a blank face. He was thinking the same thing I was – school? She rambled on about how it would be good to get back to class asap to meet other injured kids and to play basketball, ride bikes, get outside – I’m thinking to myself can’t this lady see that my son is wrapped up in gauze and would probably not benefit from a basketball bouncing off his head or even wanting to deal with other kids starring and asking him what happened? Did she even know he was just admitted 3 days ago for severe burns? The lady was persistent and fully believed it would be best for Max and said someone would be here to pick him up for the 2pm class as she walked out the door. I must say that everyone at the Burn Center has so far been super – very helpful, friendly, aware of our situation, and super nice. This lady didn’t fit – she didn’t seem genuinely concerned, but she may have been – but it didn’t come across.

    A nutritionist stopped by earlier as well, she was nice and brought it to our attention there was an alternate menu (healthier) for us to choose from – she knew her stuff about nutrition and explained why Max needed to eat so much. Max got it – he spent the rest of the day doing his best to eat as often as he could.

    So back to the school lady walking out the door. Max scooted up in his bed and turned to the side facing the window sitting kind-of xx apple sauce like, and looked at me – his eyes started to well up so I knew something was up. ‘What hurts Max?’ ‘You know‘ he started ‘It’s not that anything hurts, it’s just that I am feeling stressed right now’. Max’s use of words amazes me most of the time – he was genuinely stressed – the mere mention of school threw him. He wasn’t prepared for riding bikes, meeting kids, learning…not right then not at that moment. ‘Max Perez?‘ Moments after Max relayed his feelings about the school ladies visit, a nurse showed with a wheel chair. I looked at Max, looked at the nurse and told him Max wasn’t going. He rolled off. Max then looked at me smiled and said ‘It’s not that I don’t want to go to school, it could be fun, but I’m just not prepared – I’ll try it tomorrow.’ He was right, this 30 minute notice to go to back to school at the hospital was like your boss flying in on your vacation unannounced, wanting to meet for a quick lunch to go over some documents. It was weird.

    We decided to go out to the courtyard and tryout his mini RC car. That was fun. Laurie had run out to get some stuff for Max (In my haste on Friday night I just packed underwear and PJs for Max – I wasn’t thinking – when we get home, on my list of things to do is pack an emergency bag). We spent about an hour out there hanging out in the shade looking at the plants and crashing Mach 5 into gravel and moss.

    It was time for Max to get his dressings re-done and to everyone’s relief time for Max’s 1st shower since the incident. Two nurses were taking care of max this time (I had been helping, but this time they did it without me since the Dr was coming – time was a factor), They removed the dressing piece by piece and little by little I could start seeing Max’s cute little face, then him chest and then his arm. They walked him to the shower and made sure he was clean – Laurie had just arrived, so she washed her hands, put on her cap, gown and face mask, and provided support in the huge walk in shower.
    Max came out and he was clean – the wounds looked better! He reclined in the bed and looked at us, the nurses, and his burns. His swelling had gone down substantially and I could see my boys face coming through. :^)

    The Dr came in followed by several others. It got quiet as he looked at Max, he went from side to side, asked him to lift his arm, moved in close, moved back (silence is not golden in times like these). The whole time I could feel Max’s eye fixated on my eyes, my face, looking for signs, looking for my expression to change Was I smiling, frowning? He couldn’t tell because of my mask.
    The Dr started talking, he was telling us his prognosis – and at the time it seemed pretty reassuring, he spent time describing the burns their severity and what the burn colors meant – he was very good and then he was gone. Max was going to be alright , alright if his body would continue to heal quickly. What Laurie and I summised was that if Max healed quickly his chance of scaring would be greatly reduced especially above his left brow. The most concerning area was his upper left arm – if his body for some reason could not repair certain areas – intervention would be necessary. However, at Max’s current rate of healing it looks like he may be good, but the Dr was clear that he was giving no guarantees – but it did look positive for Maxman.

    The afternoon/evening progressed with some visits. Our friend Amelia from Bendo , who now lives in Portland – Thanks for the pizza! One from a long-time friend Erica bearing a smile, some comics for Max and directions to another close-by pizza place – Sweet! And by my cousin – who returned with our now clean laundry and some treats – Thanks Nicole. :^)

    We eased into the night watching the boob-tube and relaxing with Max. We miss our daughter and want to again thank everyone for keeping us in your thoughts. And to mom and dad – thank you for always being there and being so caring.

    More later.

  36. The Scanlans 24 September 2008 at 6:54 am #

    Hey Perez Fam,

    I am so ooooo ooooo glad to hear things are going well up there. Miss you so much.
    MAX you are one AMAZING DUDE!!!!
    Can’t wait til you come home.
    Love and hugs, The Scanlans

  37. The H A Ranch 24 September 2008 at 7:37 am #

    Yo Yo Yo Bis…….

    Just a little MOOOOOOOOOOO from the Ranch out hea!!!!!!!

    Love you guys.

  38. Carolyn Courtwright 24 September 2008 at 9:27 am #

    Hi Max!

    Keaton and Carly sure do miss you and Ana at the bus stop and can’t wait for you to come back very soon. Tell your mom and dad they are doing an amazing job! And Keaton says “thanks a lot” because his mom has been giving him way too many smooches in honor of you! We are sending all our very best thoughts your way.

    See you soon,
    Keaton’s mom

  39. Jeff, K, Gabe, Seth, and Emmaree 24 September 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Neglecting my household duties because I had to check up on you guys. What good news. Wish I could be there to watch Max race his new car but I am staying busy here watching over your pals! Sent something from Mini in the mail yesterday so be looking for it. Cocoa is doing great. She wiggles all around when I give her loves from you!!! Lucy is as silly as ever. She races around the house playing tag while I am busying myself with chores to feel helpful. Keep up the hard work. We all miss you and are sending good vibes your way.
    XOXO,
    K and Family

  40. jenn 24 September 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Hey Max Man,
    Just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you ALWAYS!!!! I know Mom and Dadders are doing a Fabulomundo jobbers at taking such awesome care of ya…so if I could be in there with ya I would. I can’t wait for you to return home so we can Jam out brotha!!!
    Wishing you a super duper speedy recovery.
    Stay Strong Super Man!!!!! XOXOXO’S Jenn(BIS)

  41. mitch 24 September 2008 at 11:35 am #

    yo yo yo homeslice. read the comments from your dad and am stoked that things are going so well. I started calling you maxanator because you were always so tough and focused whether it was pool, halo, or snowboarding and I know that this is going to be a big help in getting through this recovery. I am looking forward to seeing you soon and tell your dad he is sofa cool. I cannot wait to destroy you as usual> peace out little man.

  42. The Fosters 24 September 2008 at 11:39 am #

    Dear Perez family,
    We are friends of Irene and Scott Soucy and we have been praying like crazy since learning of this awful accident. God certainly does have all of you in his arms with as quickly as Max is healing. And I can see that He has sent lots of angels to keep you all company.
    Tonight is fellowship at church and we will certainly pass along the good news, the good news indeed.
    God bless all of you
    Bill and Loretta Foster

  43. kris 24 September 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    Hey MAX! Just like everyone else, I am so happy to hear about your progress!!! I think it’s so cool that your dad was bringing in pizza for you to eat! I hope that gives your appetite a jump start! As soon as you get home I’ll fix you some fried chicken. I’ll even make your dad his own batch so he doesn’t steal yours! Keep up the healing so I can see you soon! Love you, Kris

    p.s. Lucy is body slamming Kristi as I’m talking to her on the phone right now. Crazy dog!

  44. Charity Pepito 24 September 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    Hey Mas Max,

    I just received an email from mas emily about what happened. I’m glad you’re doing better. I hope you well and I cant wait to see you train again.

    Love Lots,
    Mas Charity 😀

  45. Uncle George 24 September 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi Maxman…you are amazing…I think of you all the time…you should be very proud of yourself, you have handled this like a real trooper…Gavin has called everyday asking how you are and send his love and hopes you get better soon.

    Geoff, Shelly, Jett and Jagger send their love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Patty and I are very proud of you…you are one tough dude…see you soon…love Uncle George and Patty

  46. Aunt Lisa from Florida 24 September 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Max, I hope you are doing well today. What strength you have! You are a true hero!!! We have been thinking about you and saying a lot of extra prayers for your recovery. I have sent something out to you today, I hope you get it soon. Something fun to keep your days busy. We all miss you and hope to see you when you are all better.
    Laurie & Carlos, Keep up your strength. It has been a tough time but certainly a lesson to all of us about life. I knew Max would be ok, he had to be!! My thoughts and prayers are with you always!! Love, Lisa

  47. Kelly Pierce 24 September 2008 at 3:26 pm #

    I WISH YOU THE BEST MAX AND FAMILY!!!!!! I feel so bad for you guys and wish I could help. Thanks for sending me the link. It sounds like Max may already be in recovery and will be better in no time. Why don’t I try to come out this winter and we can all snowboard when he is better. I would love to see everyone again!

    Love all of your photos and it looks like you have a lot to look forward to! Feel better MAX!!!!!

    See you,

    Kelly

  48. mas emily and bantoe micah 24 September 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    hi mas max and the perez power team,
    so glad to hear the life is full of legos and pizza. we are all thinking about you at the tulen center and sending our thoughts your way. and even sending the pdx poekoelan-ers your way too.

    mas goeroe is says hi and she’s very happy to hear you are recovering so quickly. can’t wait to see you and kick some butt together!

    big aloha! xoxox mas emily and bantoe micah and everyone at tulen center bend

  49. Julie Stirling (Mrs. Stirling) 24 September 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Hey Max,
    Of course you’re getting better by the minute. Do those people know who their dealing with? You never give up. I’m missing your hand waving in my face every time I ask a question (and the under your breath mumble “you never call on me”). Get back in here, it’s not the same without you!
    What? They’re trying to get you to go to school? Hmmmm Imagine that, school in the hospital. Ha! I would love that job! Torturing children is my specialty. LOL
    Hurry home, we’ll remind you what a real school is all about.
    The kids all say hi!
    Love,
    Mrs. Stirling and the gang at High Lakes

  50. Keaton 24 September 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    Hey Max, are you ok? This is Keaton. E-mail me back.


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