WELLINGTON, Fla. — An 'angel' is in need of prayers.
Over the summer, WPTV profiled Marty Miller, a Wellington teacher who gave a piece of himself — a kidney — to a complete stranger to save his life. His kidney donation served as an inspiration for others to become a donor.
Now, he’s fighting for his own recovery after being struck by a vehicle near Royal Palm Beach and The Acreage Monday morning. The collision happened just before 7 a.m. at Persimmon Boulevard and State Road 7.
What’s worse, the P.E. teacher at Boca Raton Community Middle School was just weeks shy of a triathlon he was training for.
“He’s one in a million. He’s a brother to me,” said fellow P.E. teacher and friend Heather O’Deady.
That’s who those who know Miller describe him — a selfless, thoughtful and courageous man.
“He’ll give you the shirt off his back and not ask for anything in return,” said Victor Creighton, another teacher BRCMS.
WPTV followed Miller through two different stories this summer. He donated a kidney to Scott Lacobs, a retired cop and teacher who put out a plea for a kidney donor on social media.
Miller — a 48-year old marathon and triathlon athlete — answered his plea and instantly stepped up to offer a healthy kidney after seeing the post on Facebook.
“God created us to help one another and he made us with interchangeable parts for a reason,” Miller told WPTV in June, just before the surgery. “The miracle is in helping other people.”
Following the kidney donation, Marty had been working hard to prove that donating an organ isn’t as scary as people think. In a second story with WPTV, Miller shared his experience and the surprising ease in the healing process.
“It didn’t prevent me or stop me from anything,” he said. “The plan is to get back to my normal life.”
And that’s exactly what he’s been working toward, spending the last month training for the West Palm Beach Triathlon in late October. He was cleared by his doctor to start exercising again just two to three months after the surgery.
“The doctors, they said it's the fastest they've ever seen anyone recover,” said Rayna Katz, one of Miller’s close friends.
When the unthinkable happened Monday morning, Miller was riding his bike heading south on State Road 7, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
PBSO said the driver failed to yield the right of way when entering the intersection and struck Miller, subsequently dragging him. The driver was cited and the investigation continues.
Family said he has a crushed pelvis, broken ribs, punctured bladder, severe road rash and a fracture in a part of his spine.
“When I got the text from Kelly [his wife], it’s just heartbreaking. He’s the type of person that would give a vital organ to a complete stranger,” said O’Deady.
Now, his colleagues at the middle school are coming together to donate sick days and start a meal chain for his family.
“You wouldn’t want to see this happen to anybody but Marty’s the person this should’ve never happened to,” said Creighton.
Katz has also launched a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses during Miller’s long road to recovery.
“To support Marty’s family. Marty won’t be able to go to work for quite some time,” she said. “He’s just such a great human being and just so selfless. He can do this, we all believe in him.”
So just as he stepped up to help a stranger with a new kidney, the community is now stepping up to help Miller.
“The Miller family needs us now. And for all that he has given, it’s time for us to give and help support them,” said O’Deady.