MI hospital saves teenage boy after dirt bike accident

(WXYZ) - They're called the most spectacular medical cases in the world.

More than a hundred of these cases are examined by top medical professionals on an annual basis, but only a handful are selected each year.

One of them unfolded at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.

We've covered medical miracle cases where there's no doubt a patient likely should have died in the operating room or even before they got to the table.

According to doctors at U of M, that's the case of a 14-year-old from Deerfield Township.

Maxwell Bontekoe lives for riding motorcycles—the speed, the noise, the adrenaline rush.

His dad and grandfather love it too. It's in their blood. But then Max and his brother were riding dirt bikes on their family farm in Deerfield Township when a catastrophic collision occurred.

"I just remember seeing him and the next thing I know I'm on the ground just in a lot of pain," said Max.

Max's dad was the first to arrive on the scene. There was no blood, no broken bones, just a scrape across his chest.

They drove to Saint Joseph Hospital in Howell where a scan showed internal bleeding.

Max was then rushed by life flight to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"This is far worse than what we thought it was, not only is his spleen damaged, his liver has been pulled away from his body he's bleeding underneath his liver, and we're having difficulty stopping him from bleeding," said Dr. Ronald Hirschl.

At U of M's Mott Children's Hospital, Dr. Ronald Hirschl couldn't get the bleeding or his blood pressure under control, so it was a race to the operating room.
Max's operation lasted 10 hours and required 50 units of blood. Doctors had to remove Max's liver, repair it and then transplant it back into his body.

This is the first time in the world this operation has been performed successfully for this type of injury.

But Max still wasn't out of the woods.

"There was a lot going on with him, his heart had stopped after surgery and they had to resuscitate him," said Max's dad. 

Max spent 4 months in intensive care. He was in and out of surgery every three days and still could not talk.
Once out of ICU, he spent two months re-learning how to walk.

Max's dad never left his side.

After going through the whole ordeal, Max had one goal—to get back on that motorcycle. And he did.

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