After suffering a serious injury while on the job, a member of local law enforcement is turning to the community for help.
"They are a very strong family, we are all a very strong family, but it has taken something like this to keep them barely afloat," says Polly Owens, the sister of Lt. Eddie Miller.
It has been a tough road for the Miller family of New Lexington. Last January, Lt. Eddie Miller with the Perry County Sheriff's Department was apprehending a suspect inside trailer home when he breathed in fumes from meth lab. The fumes paralyzed the right side of his vocal cords and damaged the upper right side of his lung. Lt. Miller's wife, Jackie, says they filed for workers compensation, but were denied, which left them on their own.
"We have relied on the graciousness of neighbors and families. We have relied on public assistance, which I am sure everyone knows isn't much, and we are in the process of trying to find somewhere to live because we are being foreclosed on," says Jackie Miller.
Lt. Miller's medical bills are extremely expensive for his family, one inhaler is $375 and he goes through 3 a month. On top of that his medication is $192, so now his family is relying on the community he once protected to help pay some of his medical bills.
The community came out in droves to attend Lt. Miller's benefit and show their support for the family. Some came from as far as Tennessee and others from Lt. Miller's past.
"He was always a good kid and wanted to help others, so I was not surprised when he went into police work because he always wanted to help people," says Mrs. Bowen, Lt. Miller's high school teacher.
And it is now the community's turn to help a man who protected their streets for 19 years. Jackie Miller says life and health are fragile, but the support she has received from friends and neighbors means the world to her family.
If you would like to donate to Lt. Miller send your donations to:
Lt. Eddie Miller
P.O. Box 6
New Lexington, OH 43764