My stepson, Max Kelly, is a very intelligent young man who is addicted to electronic devices. Since he began driving, he has totaled out three cars and had another five known accidents. The last accident was life altering. Not only life altering for Max but for our family as well.
|Max's vehicle in the Jan. 5, 2017, crash.|
The next 20 some days Max was in a coma. On the seventh day, Nicole and I met with the neurosurgeon to make the final decision if we were to sustain his life. We kept him alive and he was classified at a 2 on the Ranchos Los Amigos scale (1 is a vegetable). Max was transferred to the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb. Nicole and I began visiting Max almost every weekend.
Luckily since I travel so much, we used hotel loyalty points to stay the weekends. Every trip still was very expensive. This event has strained us financially and more so emotionally.
Max’s 19th birthday was spent in the hospital. Max eventually went to QLI in Omaha, Neb., and began extensive rehabilitation. Again, travel almost every weekend. This is emotionally stressful to both of us - many tears and heated debates haunt us daily.
Max began to wake up from his traumatic brain injury and realized something bad had happened to him This was sometime in June. He began to ask questions such as, was he alone when the wreck occurred? He calls Nicole multiple times a day upset and wants to come home. Hearing him begging daily to come home and that we are forcing him to be in a rehabilitation hospital is very hard for the both us.
Focusing on Max has played a big part of not spending quality time with his younger brother Nick. This is stressful as well as owning our own business. Since Max’s accident, we had to move our business to a new location, turn down caterings and forgot to get into festivals to vend food. Being gone from home during these times to visit Max has affected our business, relationships, family, friends, house, daily chores and our way of life.
Nicole has been taking care of Max’s care and it has not been easy. Since he is over 18, we have had to hire two different lawyers to handle his affairs. Nicole is on the phone daily with case managers, nurses, doctors, lawyers and insurance companies attending to his care. We have great insurance, but it only covers so much.
Max is to come home soon and we are trying to get our house reconfigured so it can accommodate someone with permanent disabilities. Thankfully we are getting help from friends, but it is very stressful. I also was planning on retiring next January, but due to insurance and expenses, it may now be three more years. Max will be coming home soon and we must re-learn to live our lives with someone with disabilities.
Mike Weibel is Max’s step-father and is from Topeka.