20,000 people will be lacing up their sneakers this Saturday for the annual Gate River Run 15K and 1 Mile Challenge Run. Among those who will be taking part is 24-year-old Andrew Miller. Andrew was in a serious motorcycle crash in November of 2017 and was rushed to Memorial Hospital with traumatic injuries. Stacie Hamilton, Andrew's mom, says she remembers the day like it was yesterday.
"We were told he had a 1% chance to survive but I decided I was not going to lose my kid and I knew he was going to fight to get through this," she said. "He had a lot of angels watching over him and I wasn't giving up hope."
Andrew spent more than a month in the ICU at Memorial Hospital. Neurosurgeon Stephen Scibelli, MD was among the many physicians and nurses who cared for him.
"Andrew's MRI showed significant damage and we knew it would take a tremendous amount of will power and effort to pull through given these types of injuries," said Dr. Scibelli. "Andrew's determination impressed the entire team and still does to this day. His strength, determination and will to get better are truly what helped Andrew beat the odds."
Today Andrew is walking, talking and writing. He does physical therapy five days a week and is working hard to regain his strength. He has double vision in one of his eyes and is working to improve his balance. Although he has improved dramatically, he is still suffering from a brain injury.
But Andrew doesn't let that slow him down. On Saturday, he will be walking in the 1 mile challenge run at the Gate River Run, with the support of about 30 family members and friends who will be cheering Andrew on, every step of the way.
Andrew and his family want to give hope to others and let them know they're not alone.
"We just play it day by day. That's all we can do," said Hamilton. "We're just keeping the faith and the prayers."
According to the Brain Injury Association of America someone in the United States sustains a brain injury every 9 seconds. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, designed to educate the public about the incidence of brain injury and empower those, like Andrew, who have survived.