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'#Maxstrong:' How a community is supporting a Seymour man left in a coma after a work accident

Posted at 11:07 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-13 00:46:30-04

WAUWATOSA (NBC 26) — Becky Rozmiarek describes the worst moment of her life: when she got the call that her 18-year-old son, Max Rozmiarek, was involved in a work accident at Dan's Tire in Seymour.

“When I pulled up to the garage, she turned me around and told me to go right to the fire station. Eagle III was landing," Becky said.

She said when she heard the news, her "heart sunk."

"That’s a mother’s worst nightmare," Becky said. "To get that kind of news was absolutely terrible.”

Max was at work when the accident happened. Becky said he was using a machine and working with a tire when it popped off the rim. The rim then hit him in the head and "crushed his skull."

Now, Max is in a coma with a traumatic brain injury at Froedert Hospital, a Level I trauma center, in Wauwatosa, and Becky said there's a possibility he could never walk or talk again.

"He has frontal lobe damage, which controls your personality and impulses," Becky said. "He was flown from Seymour to Green Bay for surgery, and then from Green Bay to Milwaukee for further care."

He had just finished his senior year at Seymour Community High School and had "big plans." He was set to go to Fox Valley Technical College in the fall to be a mechanic and "has a love for cars."

“We knew he was really into it when he said he wanted to skip an art class and take a transportation class," Becky said.

However, she said doctors told her the recovery could "take up to a year," and though he's already had surgeries, his future remains uncertain.

Since he'll be in Wauwatosa for the foreseeable future, Becky and her husband, Dean Rozmiarek, will be staying nearby.

She said this means they'll be missing a lot of work, but the travel and medical expenses will continue to pile up.

However, a family friend has stepped in to start a GoFundMe page for Max, currently with a goal of $20,000. The money will be used to help offset some of the expenses and pay for the long-term care Becky said Max will need.

"We don't know where we're going to end up with this," she said. "We know that he will need a long-term care facility, but we don't know where that's at. We want to make sure that we go somewhere where it's the best care for him."

Dean said he’s thankful to see the donations add up, and that they’ve gained the community’s support so quickly.

“Friends, family, people that we don’t even know are just praying for us and wanting to know who Max is, and it’s an awesome feeling," Dean said. " We’re just trying to take that support in.”

People have even began using #Maxstrong on social media and selling shirts to raise more money.

Becky said seeing the community come together and care has helped her family find strength, and be "#Maxstrong" during the long road to recovery.

"It's fitting," she said, because he's the "strongest and most genuine person" she knows.

“Max has a huge heart," Becky said. "He loves everybody.”

"I'm hoping and praying, definitely praying more than hoping, that he's going to make it out of here okay," Dean said. "We want him back home.”