Hundreds pray, fast for Utah boy burned over 40 percent of his body

Published: Friday, July 11 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, July 11 2014 7:29 a.m. MDT

Andy and Natalie Goddard are shown with their children.

Provided by the Goddard family

ALPINE — On July 2, Max Goddard, 15, was involved in an explosion in his garage that left him with third-degree burns on 30 percent of his body. Now the community has rallied around the young man from Alpine.

"At 1:50 p.m. on July 2, 2014, we heard a bang and a scream in the garage. Aunt Lorene was washing dishes at the kitchen sink. She saw Max run out of the garage door and shouted, 'Max is on fire!’ ” the Goddard family posted on a blog now dedicated to their son's updates.

"Markus opened the door and I saw Max walking with his shirt and hair in flames into the house. I patted some flames out as he walked down the back hall and Lorene threw a bowl of water on him in the kitchen. He went to the kitchen sink where we ran his hands under water. His face and most of his hair was singed. The whole time, he kept saying, 'I’m sorry, mom and dad. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m going to be fine.’ ”

Max, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was then given a priesthood blessing before his parents, Andy and Natalie Goddard, took him to the American Fork Hospital, the family explained on their blog. From there, Max was Life-Flighted to the University of Utah Hospital to be treated at the Burn Center.

"While Nat and I waited, a head nurse came out and introduced himself," Andrew Goddard recalled on their family blog.

"He told us that this is a critical illness, and we needed to know that Max could die. Because he had third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body, he would be in the hospital for 2-3 months and might not make it. When he left, I prayed: 'Father, we need Thee every hour, and we need Thee this hour. Spare our son. Sweet Jesus, have mercy. Father, we believe. Help thou our unbelief. Let our son live. But if not, we will still believe.’ ”

Later that day, the Goddard family was informed that their son actually had third-degree burns on 30 percent of his body and second-degree burns on 10 percent. More recently the family has explained that doctors now believe the third-degree burns are found on 25 percent of Max's body. The Goddards consider each of these updates a miracle and a blessing.

Since the accident, the Goddard family has blogged about the events of each day. Although the details of the accident haven't been shared, each blog post includes updates on Max's progress and expressions of gratitude for the family's blessings.

Such blessings have included the fact that none of the other Goddard children were home at the time of Max's accident, yet many helpful adults were available to assist Natalie and Andy Goddard. Max's swelling has also come down enough for him to open his eyes.

Natalie Goddard posted a message on July 6 on the family's blog regarding the miracles her family has seen.

"Today we had angelic help from nurses, doctors, gifted massage and energy workers and very knowledgable dear friends. We were looking for solutions to speed the healing, but couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. Then we explored long enough with some incredibly willing & capable physicians to discover a way to literally irrigate Max’s skin with oils three times a day and only change dressings once a day. Miracle #?!! We’ve lost track.

"Max has been told that he will serve many missions. Maybe he was 'called on his mission' two days ago and now he serves faithfully reminding you and me to believe in the miracles that are coming to be today, tomorrow, 1 month, 1 year, & 3 years from now."

In a post on Facebook on July 6, Andy Goddard answered several questions regarding their son's condition. Because he has a feeding tube in his throat and six other tubes throughout his body, Max has remained sedated. This also allows for his body to heal, Andy Goddard explained.

"He can still hear everything around him and is somewhat responsive," Andy Goddard posted on Facebook. "About two times per day he opens his eyes and we can ask him a couple questions. He’ll respond by shaking or nodding his head or gesturing with his arms. Then he’ll fade back to sleep."

This past Sunday, family and friends of the Goddard family, and even strangers who had heard of Max's condition, joined in a special fast in Max's behalf. A group was created on Facebook that attracted just over 900 people who agreed to participate in the fast.

"Thank you for overwhelming shower of faith and prayers! At 9:00 am today, we felt like we stepped into a column of pure light!" the Goddard family posted Sunday following the day of fasting.

The Goddard family has continued to express their appreciation for the love and support their family has received. More details can be found on the family blog, MaxGoddard.com.

Max was planning on attending a service trip to Ghana at the end of July sponsored by Healing Hands. A link can be found on the family blog where donations can be made to this organization. The family has also linked to the LDS Church missionary fund, as Max has always planned to serve an LDS mission.

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com | Twitter: @Sarah_DNews

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