CHAMPION: Barney and Kate Miller.
CHAMPION: Barney and Kate Miller. Contributed

Miller to surf for world title, defeating all odds

DESPITE a serious crash in 1999 which saw Barney Miller diagnosed as a quadriplegic, he's just on the cusp of living out his childhood dream of being a world champion surfer.

Just last weekend, an impressive effort saw Barney win the US Adaptive Surf Championships in the division Prone Assist, and between November 29 to December 3 he will be representing Australia in the World Adaptive Surf titles.

Barney returned to competitive surfing after 17 years just last year, and brought home silver - an incredible feat from a man who was once told he would never breathe on his own.

Barney, a Sawtell man, was the passenger in the car accident which left him with a broken neck and a diagnosis of complete C6 quadriplegia.

"He was told he would never breathe by himself, regain any movement from the chest down and no walking or surfing again," Barney's wife Kate Miller said.

"Well he proved all that wrong. He can now hold his breath for 2.30 minutes, he can stand with little to no assistance and he's taking steps with little assistance."

Barney has been training hard at a rehabilitation centre called Strides in San Juan Capristrano.

"He is excited for the world title event, he has dreamt of being a world champion surfer since he was a kid, so to have the opportunity to become one is pretty special. Especially when he has the support of some of the worlds best surfers," Kate said.



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