Matt Miller was a straight-A student and a star of the swim team at University of Virginia. He also trained for triathlons and was an avid bicyclist. One morning, while on an eighty-five mile training ride, he was involved in a severe accident in which he lost control of his bicycle and swerved into a head-on collision with a Porsche.
He was induced into a coma in the ICU and the surgeons needed to cut off the top of his skull to give the brain room to expand because of the swelling. Every bone in his face had been broken. The doctors felt that there was no way he would have 100% of his mental capacity . . . if he even survived.
After Matt woke up, and after the surgery to his face, his mouth was wired shut. Visitors described him as looking deformed, like he had had a stroke. And yet one of the first things Matt typed on his ICU talk-pad was: “Can I go to physics lab?” This young athlete had a positive attitude and his rapid recovery was astounding.
It seemed Matt would have a long road to recovery, but he stayed positive and walked out of the hospital after 25 days. Two years after he left the hospital, Matt started medical school and completed the Ironman Triathlon, finishing with a time in the top 10%. He has thrived in his new reality.
As I mention in the book, when the bell rang, Matt got off his stool, went to the center of the ring and got back in the fight. He is an inspiration and proof that a positive attitude can go a long way to helping you overcome adversity.
For more information, see article written by Michael Vitez in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Update: Michael Vitez has now written a book about this amazing story called The Road Back: A Journey of Grit and Grace. You can buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Road-Back-Michael-Vitez/dp/1475073089/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336579062&sr=8-1.