Rome, Italy, Dec 10, 2012 / 16:07 pm
After spending ten years in a comatose state, a young Italian man named Maximiliano Tresoldi woke up on Christmas of 2000 to dry the tears of his mother, Lucrecia.
In an interview with CNA, Lucrecia recounted how Maximiliano – Max to his friends – was only 20 years old when he was injured in a car accident on Aug. 15, 1991.
He was diagnosed by doctors as paralyzed "with no chance of recovery," she said.
Over nine years later on Dec. 28, 2000, Lucrecia tucked Max into bed as she had each night since he came home from the hospital.
Overwhelmed with depression and sadness, she didn't follow her usual routine of taking his hand to make the sign of the cross.
"I just can't do any more tonight, I don't want to pray or anything," she told him.
However, Lucrecia said, "the sign of the cross was really his salvation," and at that moment Max found the strength to console his mother.
He raised his hand and made the sign of the cross himself. Then he gave her a hug.
Lucrecia said it was the best Christmas gift of her life and that after that encounter, Max began to externalize his feelings and emotions.
The first words Max told his mother after waking up were, "I am happy, I am happy to be with you," she remembered, adding that he "has always been happy despite his paralysis."
Further shocking Lucrecia, Max said he was aware of everything during his coma and that he even knew the exchange rate between Italian liras and the euro.
His mother is sure that God has a plan for him: to remind the world that handicapped persons have a right to a life of dignity, that they are a source of life and should be loved and respected.
She noted that Max was born on Sept. 8 – the feast of the Nativity of Mary – and his car accident happened on Aug.15, the feast of the Assumption.
Lucrecia said the first miracle God worked in her was to help her accept what was happening right away and to put her son in the Lord's hands.
"On the day of the accident, I told Our Lady: 'On Aug. 15 my son was in your hands. You had him born on Sept. 8 even though he was supposed to be born a month later, and I don't know what plans you have for him, but I put him in your hands," Lucrecia said.
"Just give me the strength to move forward and accept all this."
She reflected that she had always been a fragile woman, but that the faith is what kept her close to her family.
"For this reason this is the strength that we have to give to all the families who are experiencing this terrible tragedy and tell them, 'Do not be afraid,'" she said.
Lucrecia has recounted Max's entire story in a new book entitled, "E addeso vado al Max," which she co-wrote with Italian journalists Lucia Bellaspiga and Pino Ciociola. The book received the 2012 Woman in Life literary award.
Max received his own award: a ceramic sculpture by artist Gianni Celano Giannici representing the same hand that he raised to make the sign of cross after ten years in a coma.
On June 2 of this year, Max met Pope Benedict XVI in Milan and gave him a signed copy of the book.