In Richmond, Virginia, a little boy is getting a new lease on life after enduring several life-altering tragedies.
Kindergartner Thomas Miller had just turned one when his mother, Reina Opperman, was killed in a car accident. Miller was in the vehicle at the time of the accident and was ejected nearly 70 feet. While Miller survived with scrapes and bruises, his mother was tragically killed. Miller’s Aunt calls his survival after the incident a “pure miracle.” No word on what time of year the accident occurred, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) a higher volume of travelers combined with more alcohol-impaired drivers cause nearly two times the number of auto accident fatalities during summer months than during the rest of the year combined.
To make matters worse, Miller’s father, Erik Opperman, died of a heart attack in 2014.
In the wake of these tragedies, Miller’s aunt and uncle performed an act of courage: they took the boy in and raised him with their two daughters. In a recent turn of events, William and Gretchen Miller have decided to legally adopt Thomas.
To this day, many people who aided in Miller’s rescue efforts after the crash are still a part of his life.
“As much stuff as he’s been through, there’s a reason he’s here,” said Henrico firefighter Mike Hodges.
Hodges was present when Miller was thrown from the car and assured the family he would always be there for Thomas.
“I told his dad I would be there for his graduation,” said Hodges. “Didn’t realize I would be there for his adoption.”
For now, things seem to have settled down for Thomas. He enjoys eating his favorite foods, going to school, and playing with his new sisters. He continues to inspire people everywhere with his courageous and positive attitude. More than 90% of adopted children ages five and up have positive feelings about their adoption, and it’s safe to say that Thomas Miller is certainly one of them.