After a car accident when he was 19, Barney Miller was left paraplegic without the ability to use his legs. He was told he’d never breathe on his own or stand or swim again. But worst of all that he’d never surf again. But that didnt deter Barney. Doctor after doctor gave him the same diagnosis, he will never regain movement below his chest, the triceps, abs or hands.
Still Barney fought on, he taught himself how to breathe without a ventilator. “It gets you down. What I needed was a slim chance, a small bit of hope,” says Barney. And Barney found just that in Kate. Together they tried new therapies and new ways of life. Ten years after his injury Barney started his recovery anew, his motivation greater than before.
With help of his friends he began surfing again and in 2017 became the World Adaptive Surf Champion. “So much hard work went into it. I just put myself out there. Putting yourself out there, despite the fear, is worth it.”, he continues: “At my 21st birthday I told my family and friends that if your mind can do it, your body can. I believe that now more than ever. Find something to focus on and set goals — no matter how small. Don’t let your disability define you; let it drive you. Celebrate your uniqueness. Turn it into your strength. It will be worth the ride.”.