Two years ago, just before graduation in 2010, UVA Today featured the story of Matt Miller, who in November 2008 was cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway when he crashed face-first into an oncoming vehicle. Somehow, he survived the crash; more remarkably, he stayed on track to graduate on time and headed off to med school.
His story was the subject of a three-part series in the Philadelphia Inquirer, written by reporter Michael Vitez. (It was later republished in the Daily Progress.)
Vitez, a 1979 graduate of the University and former editor-in-chief of the Cavalier Daily, has expanded his series into a new book, “The Road Back: A Journey of Grace and Grit,” which became available on Amazon last week. The book highlights not only Miller’s amazing drive to survive, but the contributions of others, including the nurses and doctors in the U.Va. Health System, U.Va. swimming and diving coach Mark Bernardino, Miller’s girlfriend, and Miller’s parents — both also U.Va. alums.
Here’s the description from the back cover:
Matthew Miller had just pedaled up a mountain pass. He was 20, a member of the University of Virginia triathlon club, so fit his resting pulse was 42! He was on top of the world in so many ways, in love, with dreams of attending medical school. And then, cycling along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, tragedy struck. The real story is not what happened, but what happened after. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Michael Vitez shares with you the incredible, humbling, miraculous story of Matt’s survival and recovery. It is a story, truly, of grace and grit, of an America that shines – families, community, individuals and institutions. The story is as gripping as it is inspiring. Ride along!
The author first chronicled Matt Miller’s story for his newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer. The response from readers was so overwhelming – and Matt’s continued recovery so remarkable — that Vitez immersed himself in Matt’s world. The Road Back is not only about a young man’s drive to reclaim his life, but about the the people who rode with him, rescued him, helped him heal, and saw up close his amazing comeback.
Sounds like some potentially inspirational summer reading, featuring some familiar folks.
Please make sure to keep your comments respectful and free from abusive language or personal attacks. Comments will not appear until approved by site moderator. Thank you for reading the blog and we encourage all users to interact with the blog by posting comments and feedback.