FLOWER MOUND—There is shock and grief in Flower Mound after a student’s death from complications from the flu. The 17-year-old fell ill and died suddenly while visiting family in Wisconsin.
On Dec. 23, Max Schwolert played in the Wisconsin snow. On Dec. 29, he died. His family said the flu turned to pneumonia, followed by a swift and fatal staph infection.
”It really kind of hit him on the night of the 25th,” said Max’s aunt, Michelle Schwolert. “[We] took him to the hospital, and from there it was very quick. There was a point of no return.”
The sudden death of the young, healthy athlete stunned his church family at Faith Lutheran.
”He has had such an impact on this church, on this community,” Michelle Schwolert said.
Max’s teammates on the Flower Mound Marcus golf team are leaning on each other to absorb the blow.
”I still can’t believe it,” said teammate Dillon Mauboules, who worked with Max at Bridlewood Golf Club, and played basketball with him the day before he left on vacation.
He’s searching for meaning in the sudden loss.
”Don’t take life for granted,” Dillon said, “and live to the Max.”
”Love to the Max” is the message painted on a sign that teens pounded into the ground Tuesday outside Faith Lutheran. Max’s father is a youth pastor there. That’s also the message spreading through postings on Facebook and Caring Bridge.
”Now that you have everyone listening, what do you do with that?” said family friend Colleen Mauboules. “And that is Max’s legacy.”
Mauboules posted updates on Max’s struggle on Facebook. She said Max would have wanted a legacy of faith, so a fund has been started for youth ministries at Faith Lutheran. There is also a fund to help his family. Max’s golf coach plans a memorial tournament to honor the teen.
Then there’s one simple act by friends and family.
”I’m the first to say, ‘My family doesn’t get the flu shot,’ but we will, and we will advocate that from now on,” Michelle Schwolert said.
It might not have saved Max Schwolert, but it’s one more way he’s making a difference.
A fund to help the Schwolerts has been established at this website. Contributions to the youth ministry fund may be made to Faith Lutheran Church in Flower Mound.