SPOKANE, Wash. - Max Sarquilla is the kind of kid that lights up a room. He's full of energy with a great sense of humor.
“Max is a dream, he's one of those little love bugs that loves unconditionally,” said Stacey Higgins, Max's teacher.
Max was born with Apert Syndrome, a condition that affects the head, hands, and feet. Max has already endured 16 surgeries. Next week will be 17, and it will be the toughest one to date.
“This is the second major head surgery and this is quite a bit more serious than the first one, with a big recovery time, ICU, everything, so we're nervous,” said Elisa Sarquilla, Max's mother.
According to Max's father, the surgery will require bones to broken in Max's face in three areas. The midface will be pulled forward about an inch, and it will all be held together with headgear, which he'll have to wear for about a month and a half.
The staff at Madison Elementary has fallen in love with Max, so knowing the tough times that lie ahead, they came together. One teacher who heard the request, was Jace Malek's mother-in-law Susan.
“Susan just came to us a few weeks ago and said 'hey, he could really use an iPad at the hospital to help him continue his school work and also really help him to stay content,'” said Anna Anderson, Jace Malek's mom. “And that sounded like a great opportunity for us as the Jace Malek Foundation to be able to reach out and help.”
Friday morning, a few days before Max's family makes their way to Seattle for surgery, the Malek family and the Sarquilla family joined up to make a special delivery.
“I'm so excited for Max to get an iPad, because he's crazy about technology..” said Elisa.
During the last few years, our community wrapped their arms around the Malek family. Today, along with the staff at Madison, they paid it forward, reminding Max and his family that someone has their back too.
“It's a huge blessing,” said John Sarquilla, Max's father.