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Small Miracles in Life Everyday “S.M.I.L.E”

Meet Max. He is a source of hope, inspiration, and positivity, even as he watched his life get flipped upside down in February 2022. Max was skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho when he sustained a spinal cord injury that completely severed his spinal cord, leaving him with paraplegia.

Before his injury, Max was cruising through his senior year of high school. An accomplished golfer, skier, and someone who is an absolute pleasure to be around. He had dreams of playing collegiate golf and had set the bar very high for his future.

'Small Miracles In Life Everyday' (S.M.I.L.E.) is a slogan Max's mom, Amber, reminded their family and her son of daily as they began the pathway of rehabilitation. After being life-flighted from Idaho, Max spent just under a week at the University of Utah ICU and Main Hospital before his blood pressure was stable enough and his tolerance would allow him to transition to begin his rehabilitation with us.

The early days of his recovery included working on his tolerance to just sitting upright, first in his bed, then at the
edge of the bed. He quickly progressed to a power wheelchair and the edge of the mat in the therapy gyms.

Like the rest of his life, Max progressed quickly through the first phases of his recovery. He continues to find joy and
smiles in each of the obstacles ahead of him. His attitude is contagious to all of us, and we couldn't be prouder of how hard Max worked day in and day out to tackle each challenge.

Every day Max opens his eyes, he smiles, gives gratitude, and sets his focus on the day's challenge ahead. His remarkably positive attitude, day in and day out, while going through his rehabilitation, not only touched our lives but also thousands of others.

Upon discharging from inpatient rehabilitation, Max was greeted with his robust community of love and support. He was able to complete his senior year of high school, get his diploma, and have one heck of a senior year trip.