The Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) continues to urge members of the auto body community to do all they can to assist Bryan Miller, an Ohio-based technician and painter recovering from severe burns suffered in a devastating fire at Elite Auto Body, Cycle and Sales in Bethel, OH, last September.
The in-shop accident left Miller, 32, with mostly third-degree burns covering the majority of his body and nearly ended his life. He also endured a near-fatal case of pneumonia and a bout with COVID-19 in the early months of his recovery.
Thankfully, Miller’s spirits remain high as he works hard to improve his condition and make his desired return to painting and body work. Nearly six months ago, he left the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care in Cincinnati and moved in with his father, Ron, in Batavia, OH. Despite feeling a little stir crazy due to his inability to spend much time outdoors these days, Miller is very happy to be home.
“It’s exciting and challenging,” he says. “I have to deal with some issues with my body every day, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.”
Miller’s daily routine at home includes physical therapy to keep his skin from getting tighter and improve his overall strength and stamina. Despite the severity of his injuries, Miller is proud to share he hasn’t taken pain medication for months.
“My pain specialist told me it was going to take a year to taper me off of the medication. I’m like, ‘A year?!’ I said, ‘Just cut what I’m taking in half this month, and we’ll see how that goes.’ I didn’t even go back the next month; I just quit taking it.”
Perhaps best of all, he has spent recent times slowly getting back to working on vehicles. Recently, he rehung the front bumper on his Honda Civic and performed some body work on one of its quarter panels.
“My hands are good—they work just the same as before!”
Miller hopes to be back to work within the next year. In the meantime, his more immediate goal is to…