I sort of feel like a stalker. But I can't help wondering how Brittany Miller, the young Jacksonville girl who lost her leg due to illness, is doing.
I asked about her wedding last summer, and a Since You Asked column said she was getting married in May. Did she finally marry her boyfriend? How is the happy couple?
— Lynne S., Grants Pass
Fear not, Lynne. Love still blooms between Brittany Miller and her beloved C.J. Mitchell. But their August 2011 wedding, which was postponed to this past May due to aftereffects of her devastating illness, is once again being rescheduled.
"It's hectic," Miller said. "At this age, and with college, things just change."
The second postponement came because Miller has made great strides in her chosen career, she said. Having finished up her work at Southern Oregon University, Miller found out she's been accepted to the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, where she will learn how to perform cardiac ultrasound.
"The reason I wanted to go into this field is because of the heart failure I experienced during my illness," Miller said. "I had so many echocardiograms, and I just find it so interesting."
In case you missed the original stories, Miller was fighting for her life in January 2011 after a simple case of the flu resulted in near-fatal complications.
Miller suffered internal organ failure. She spent a month in a coma, hooked up to a heart/lung machine at Stanford University Medical Center, and her right leg suffered irreparable damage. Doctors ultimately were forced to amputate the limb above the knee.
The former South Medford High School cheerleader and honor student captured the heart of her community after a Jan. 1 story in the Mail Tribune detailed her challenges — including the fact that she had been forced to return her original artificial limb when her insurance company refused to cover the costs.
More than $22,000 in donations poured into a special "Brittany fund" at Spectrum Orthotics and Prosthetics in Medford.
The cash donations were combined with donations of time and labor from Spectrum and Freedom Innovations, which designed the microprocessor-controlled knee unit and other articulating joints in the specialized prosthesis.
Last year Miller had a sleeve fabricated for her prosthesis. Using her left leg as a mirror model, the new sleeve fills out the contours of Miller's pants, making the artificial limb barely noticeable, she said.
The 22-year-old spoke to the Mail Tribune Friday on her way back from the coast, where she spent the 4th of July blissfully walking on the beach with her beau.
"The new leg is working out so well. I don't think I would have been able to walk down the paths to the beach without it," she said.
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