For the first time since the accident that nearly killed him, Trevor Millar glided through a thicket of lunch tables at South Anchorage High School, scanning the crowd for familiar faces.
He had last visited the high school in May. Then, he had been a track-and-field coach and the leader of Young Life, a popular Christian youth group. The kids flocked to him like a wholesome-but-cool older brother.
But still, on a stormy October day, 30-year-old Millar was being pushed through the shiny halls in a wheelchair. His left side was still partly paralyzed. His head bore a scar where doctors had removed part of his skull.
Doctors told his family that 90 percent of half of his brain had been destroyed, according to his mother, Casey Millar. His brain swelled so much that part of his skull had to be removed to relieve the pressure.
If Millar did survive, the medical team warned, he'd no longer be the Trevor they knew, the born leader and natural comic who had drawn hundreds of Anchorage teenagers to Young Life's signature mix of clean fun imbued with Jesus. He might never regain consciousness.
The Millar family, a large, tight-knit, Christian clan of second- and third-generation Alaskans, told everyone they knew to pray for Trevor. In the early hours of morning they gathered in a waiting room at the UW Medical Center with friends and sang a hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing."
Amidst the tidal wave of support, Trevor woke up. His sister and sister-in-law had painted his toenails pink.
He flashed a thumbs-up sign and smiled.
Dr. Charlotte Smith, a rehabilitation doctor at the top-ranked University of Washington Medical Center, with 27 years of experience, said she considers Millar's case one of a handful of "legitimate medical miracles" she's seen during her career.
"It defies medical explanation," she said.Read the whole story here.