Local community mobilizes after teenager loses leg in accident

AHWATUKEE – An Ahwatukee family is delaying Thanksgiving until their son is released from the hospital. Even though he returns home without a limb and has a long way to go, his mother tells ABC15 that she is more grateful than ever.

Zander Hendrix just turned 20 in a hospital bed.

“We call it a cactus all the time,” said mother Toshia. “We say he’s prickly on the outside and spongy in the middle, like me.”

Zander, who played hockey and graduated from Desert Vista High School, wants to become a mechanical engineer.

He’s also a gear boss, that’s how a recent Wednesday began.

“He was working on his motorcycle. A part arrived that he had been waiting for about a month, ”Toshia said.

The 19-year-old decided to take his bike for a test ride. A few minutes later, Zander’s roommate’s phone rang.

“And [Zander] was not speaking, but Daniel could hear voices. So Dan came down and said, “Toshia, find out where Zander is. I don’t know what’s going on, ”the mother said.

“I looked up his position and a man called me and said, ‘Is this Zander’s mother? I’m here with your son, he had an accident. And I hung up and said, “I’m on my way.”

The accident was just around the corner from the family’s house. Zander had taken a turn, lost control and was wrecked. Fortunately, no other vehicle was involved.

“We stopped here and I started running,” said Toshia, revisiting the crash site for the first time after six days. “I was screaming, ‘Where is he, where is he? “”

“People were pointing fingers, ‘He’s over there.’

She found him at the foot of a cactus.

Zander’s helmet had flown off and thorns were in his scalp. His leg was also at 35 feet, according to Toshia.

“I was holding Zander’s head and I was like ‘Hey buddy!'”

“And he said to me, ‘Mom, I don’t know what happened,'” Toshia said, her voice broken. “And I said, ‘It’s okay, mate. I love you. Tell me you love me. “He said,” I love you. I love you. “I said,” I love you too, that will be fine. “”

The mother, who works as a nail technician, could see that her leg had been torn off.

Adrenaline kept Zander from realizing the gravity, until a police officer put the tourniquet on.

“And he started screaming, ‘Oh my God, mom. I can’t see my leg, I can’t feel my leg. Mom, mom, mom! Where’s my leg? And I’m like, “It’s okay mate, it’s gonna be alright. We’ve got this,” “

A week, a birthday in intensive care, and several surgeries later, Zander is without his right leg and awaits a prosthesis.

Toshia still preaches the same message a few minutes after the crash.

Nothing is stopping you. We won’t let anything stop you, ”she said.

“I know it’s your right leg, and I know you’re a car guy… but it’s okay, we’ll find out!” It’s just going to be amazing. I just know it, ”according to Toshia.

The mother chooses to focus on the positive aspects.

The fact that it’s just his leg is the only catastrophic injury he has. It is literally a miracle, ”she said.

“I grew up on motorcycles and I haven’t always been a big fan of helmets. But now after seeing what my son went through. I will 100% tell any parent to urge your child to wear a helmet.

Toshia’s other message is a message of gratitude to Ahwatukee.

“I can’t tell you how amazing this community has been. I was blown away, ”she said, admitting that in recent years the political divide has left her discouraged by the unity of the community.

Within days, people donated over $ 35,000 to help cover Zander’s prosthetic equipment and other day-to-day expenses.

“He looks at that [GoFundMe] from her hospital bed and I know it sounds silly, but it’s literally one of the most important things that gives her hope right now, ”Toshia said. “He sees how many people donate to him. He keeps telling me, “Mom, I didn’t think people liked me. I don’t know why they’re doing this for me.”

If you want to help the family, you can donate here.

A fundraiser is also being organized by Andy’s Custard, near 48th Street and Warner, on Saturday, December 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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