DENVER (CBS4) – A young accident survivor is now taking part in this weekend’s state high school wrestling championships.

Robert Miller (purple) in action (credit: CBS)

Robert Miller (purple) in action (credit: CBS)

Robert Miller is determined to give his family and community something to cheer about. Two years ago Miller was in a horrible accident that left him seriously injured. The wreck killed his foster father and five other foster and adopted children.

Robert Miller (credit: CBS)

Robert Miller (credit: CBS)

A young athlete has to be strong physically and tough mentally to make it to the state meet – and Miller, 17, surely is both.

The wreckage was horrifying.

“I had a broken femur, a broken tibia, two broken ribs, a punctured lung, a cracked vertebra, and a torn aorta, Miller said.

Miller doesn’t talk a lot about the crash. Instead he has put his energy into recuperating and succeeding in high school wrestling, despite initial warnings from his doctors.

“They said that I shouldn’t ever wrestle again.”

As a foster child, Miller’s life has been full of people telling him “no.”

“The Eads community, the Kit Carson community, the teachers and the staff … have been huge in baby-stepping us along,” Melody Mitchell said.

Mitchell is adopting Miller. She lost her husband and five children in the van accident. She says Miller being there is a victory for her whole family.

RELATED: 6 Dead After Fatal Accident

“We have 22 family members here,” Mitchell said.

It’s also a victory for a community that helped mend the family — a family that was so horribly hurt and broken. It’s family that is finally healing.

“They’re my kids,” Mitchell said.

Whether or not Miller wins this weekend doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that he made it there despite a difficult childhood and a deadly accident.

“I think it is just as important to everyone as it is to me because everybody has been there to support me; it’s been a big help,” Miller said.

“Robert is a success story. He’s our poster child,” Mitchell said.

As of Friday evening Miller is 3-1 in the tournament.


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