Teen collecting DVDs for hospitalized youth
Max Lewis hopes to establish a video library at Doernbecher -
When youre under the weather, a good movie and a favorite blanket might be just what the doctor orders.
But when youre a teenager confined to a hospital bed, and not feeling particularly poorly, pickings are pretty slim to make time move faster.
At least thats what Max Lewis discovered a few years ago.
When I was 14 years old, I developed a mysterious, fast-growing leg infection, Max recalled. I was rushed to Doernbecher Childrens Hospital where I was treated with IV antibiotics. Confined to a hospital bed, I passed the time watching movies. The movies helped me during a scary and challenging time, but I noticed the selection in the media library was very limited for kids my age.
Now 17, and a soon-to-be senior at Gresham High School, Max is aiming to ease the long days for other hospitalized teens. To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Max is collecting DVDs to establish a video library for the Child Life Program at Doernbecher. He launched his drive two weeks ago, via word-of-mouth, posters and social media, and has already received nearly 70 teen-appropriate DVDs. On Saturday, Aug. 27, Max hopes to add to the total at a drop-off booth at the Gresham Saturday Market.
Even the soft-spoken teen is surprised by the response hes received already.
Theyve been coming in every day, he said. I told the coordinator at (Oregon Health & Science University) that if I got two DVDs, that would be a success. But the skys the limit now.
The son of Haley and Steve Lewis, Max was doing some serious yard work behind the familys home in Southwest Gresham in preparation for his sisters high school graduation party three years ago. Given he had been laboring among brush and bushes in a green space, the appearance of something resembling a bug bite on his leg wasnt a surprise. But when the small mark on his lower right calf turned red, swelled and began to creep up his entire leg, Haley decided to have Max seen by a doctor.
They didnt know what it was, Haley recalled. When the doctor said that Max needed to go to OHSU they were waiting for him it was just a shock! Max had worked so hard on the backyard for his sisters party, so on the way to the hospital, I asked him if he was scared. He said, No, Im just mad I have to miss the party.
Max was diagnosed with MRSA an unidentifiable infection resistant to most antibiotics. He spent three days confined to a bed at Doernbecher, receiving IV medication, bored out of his mind.
I couldnt do much but watch movies, he said. They had Lord of the Rings, but that was about all.
Although Max is hoping to establish a video library for teens and older hospitalized youth, he is happy to accept movies for younger audiences as well.
I hope to provide kids with something to pass the time, he said. Its a scary time for a kid to be in the hospital. I know what was like for me. I just want to help the kids.