Neighbors remodel home for Utah teen paralyzed in ski accident

Apr 8, 2022, 8:17 AM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 12:49 pm

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — After nearly two months in the hospital and physical therapy rehab, a South Ogden teen came home to a big surprise.

Neighbors lined the street outside Max Togisala’s home. Dozens wore shirts with the text “Miracle for Max” printed on them.

“We have grown as a family in ways we could not have grown before, without this experience,” Amber Togisala said. “It’s been amazing to witness the growth in my son: mentally, physically and spiritually…he has not had one negative thought from day one.”

On Feb. 19, Max was in a ski accident in Sun Valley that severely damaged his spinal cord and left him paralyzed.

“My first reaction, on the mountain was, ‘I can’t feel my legs right now.’ I was heartbroken.” Max said.

Max’s mother Amber said her son’s dedication to finding mindful purpose in his journey is inspiring.

“I asked him this morning, I said ‘Max — knowing everything you have gone through — would you have changed your mind and not gone to Sun Valley?’ And he didn’t even hesitate. He said, ‘I would for sure still go.’ That confirms that he sees the peace in all of this, and he sees the good in all of it,” Amber Togisala said.

Max spent seven weeks in a rehabilitation hospital. During this time, his family considered moving to a different home designed for their now wheelchair-bound son.

Neighbors had a better plan.

“You can’t imagine a better community,” said Max’s father, Max Togisala Sr. “Our neighbors did so much remodeling in a short amount of time.”

In an effort to keep the Togisala family in the neighborhood, friends worked together to build an add-on bedroom and bath that are completely wheelchair accessible. Friends also remodeled the kitchen.

“It’s amazing to be back! I am so happy, and I feel such sincere love from this community.” Max said.

“Max has strengthened my testimony and all of ours knowing that as much as I love my son — I know that Heavenly Father loves him more and has a greater plan for him,” Max’s mother, Amber said.

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