“I was anxious and very scared,” Miller shared. “I wondered how this was going to change my life. Then when you’re told that you won’t be having the surgery, it’s a relief and a worry at the same time. I was so close.”
In December, he got another call about an available organ, which ended up not being a match.
His waiting experience was fraught with challenges. In early January 2019, Miller started throwing up blood and was taken by ambulance to the UF Health Shands E.R. The liver cancer had caused increased internal blood pressure and large veins in his esophagus had burst. He received a lifesaving blood transfusion.
Once healed, Miller was added back to the transplant wait list.
A few weeks later, on Feb. 22, Miller was with his family moving his oldest daughter, Lexie, to Jacksonville when his phone rang with the good news of another available liver. The Millers said a quick goodbye, dashed home to Gainesville and checked into UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital that night. The next morning, his medical team confirmed the transplant and he was prepped for surgery.
“I remember that moment because it was very scary,” Miller shared. “You knew that this was going to be life or death. I was scared, but knew I had great doctors.”