Help a soldier, Ernest A Miller IV, hit by drunk driver

For: Ernest A Miller IV
Baltimore, MD
Organizer: Chelly Pazdan
Help a soldier, Ernest A Miller IV, hit by drunk driver (Ernest A Miller IV)
$9,051
of $35,000 goal
25% Complete
Raised by 128 donors

The Story

Ernest A Miller IV was in Roatan, Honduras, building a new life after two tours in Iraq in the US Army Infantry.  While in Iraq on his second tour he was injured. A car bomb attacked his Humvee directly, wounding Ernest, his gunner, and his dismounted soldier.  Ernest successfully recovered from his ankle and head injuries which required surgery and four months of rehabilitation at Fort Stewart.  He went on to serve a third tour in Iraq after his recovery.

After retiring from the Army and while living in Roatan, he had taken a friend home and was on his way to his own place when a drunk driver attempted to pass another vehicle and struck his scooter head-on.  Ernest suffered life-threatening injuries including a skull fracture, three fractured vertebrae in his neck, damage to his teeth and jaw, and to his nose.  There was also the possibility of a brain injury, requiring skilled treatment not available on the island.   Being out of the U.S., his family contacted the embassy and they assisted with arrangements to have Ernest life-flighted to a trauma center in Miami, where his family flew in from Baltimore to be by his side.

Ernest has made huge strides in his recovery, successfully going through six surgeries to date.  These include a fusion of the cervical spine to prevent spinal cord damage, repairs to the face, eye socket and jaw, including wiring his jaw shut for 5 weeks for healing.  He required multiple facial surgeries and a prosthetic implant to rebuild the eye socket to correct his double-vision.  He also went through months of rehabilitation for strength building, to rebuild his balance, and motor function in his arms and hands where he is still suffering from nerve pain.


He will require dental work and if all goes perfectly, one more major surgery which will include removal of the prosthesis and extensive rebuilding of the floor of the eye socket.  The surgery will last 6 hours, and include use of stem cells and chemotherapy to help remove significant scar tissue from the three prior surgeries.  


The drunk driver that hit him was uninsured, leaving Ernest with significant medical bills and debt from all the procedures to save his eyesight and his life.   We've gotten a great response for the first leg of this fund-raiser, and hope that by putting this major update, you will continue to share and think about another contribution if you are able to do so.  

This young man has seen first-hand the horrors of war, enlisting at 17 to serve his country and serving in an active war zone for 8 years.  After surviving the car-bombing, and this horrific accident, please consider donating.  Even if you can only help with $5 or $10, many of us giving a little will add up!  This soldier deserves our help.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on January 29, 2018

Posted on January 29, 2018

An update... firstly, as always thank you for your generosity and help.  Please, if continue to share this fundraiser and donate.  While the recent changes that our President Trump has made for our veterans and their insurance have put him in a difficult situation.  While the desperately needed surgery itself has been approved, the $17,800 prosthetic implant needed that will fix Ernie's facial deformity and his double-vision has NOT been approved.  Any help you all can provide to raise the money needed for the implant would be greatly appreciated.  

Ernie wanted me to express his love and appreciation to each of you that have donated, but we have a long way to go to help this soldier.  Please continue to share.  Blessings to you all. 

Posted on August 27, 2017

Posted on August 27, 2017

Hi folks, an update for you directly from Ernie....   please read and share.  Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.

Hello world, I have had 9 surgeries so far. 
I have a major one involving a coronal incision and removal of all bone grafts and hardware that's currently holding my eye in a semblance of position, to replace those with bone implants. My double vision, and eye lid palsy caused by the original surgeons at Jackson Memorial Hospital, will hopefully finally be addressed. It will be a 8 hour surgery with the chief of occularsurgery at the UCSD hospital.   After the military doctors referred me to his care.  
It has been the hardest almost two years of my life.  But thankfully I can still live and love those who loved me during this, as I strive towards recovery, if it is possible.  Everyone that helped me, I am eternally grateful, I have paid just over 37k dollars total since my accident with just a but more to go in comparison. Hopefully you have had a better, more fortunate 23 months than I have. Though just being alive, is testament enough to be very, very fortunate indeed.
My kindest regards,
Ernest

Posted on April 14, 2017

Posted on April 14, 2017

We've had another successful surgery.  Which is great news, but we're still a long ways from reaching our goal to help this soldier with his expenses.  Please continue to share this fundraiser. 

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