Sydney Miller – More than just a burn survivor

Sydney Miller - More than just a burn survivor

Emily Wallner, Staff Writer


One of Sydney’s senior pictures. (Photo by Lady Brio Photography)


Sydney Miller is an 18-year-old senior at Jonathan Alder High School. She participates in golf and CCP courses at school. Miller also loves to read, watch movies and spend time with her friends and family. But, she is also an inspirational survivor. 


When Miller was 15-months-old, she was trapped in a burning car on a cold winter day. Her older brother Dalton, just eight years old, jumped in the car to save his baby sister. Most of Miller’s lower half was burned and to this day she endures painful surgeries and hardships, but she always finds a way to stay positive. 


When I asked Miller how she thinks the accident has made her who she is today, she replied, “I have definitely had to adapt in my life. Just like I had to give up volleyball for golf…” 

Miller has stayed very positive after many hospital visits, surgeries, and the pain that results from her burns. 

Sydney as a child. (Photo by Angie Yoder)


Miller told me a bit about her friends and family. When I asked how they impacted her life, she answered, “They support me in anything I do.”, then goes on to talk about the person who inspires her the most, which is her older brother Dalton. “He is my best friend and is there for me in whatever I do.” Dalton not only saved her from the accident, but continues to be a role model for her and support her through it all. 


Sydney and her mom Angie. (Photo by Lady Brio Photography)


Miller’s mom is also a very big part of her life. She has helped and cared for her since she was born. When I asked Angie Yoder to talk a little bit about her experiences growing up with Sydney, she stated, “The things I have witnessed everyday have been very hard. I can’t even put it into words. Syd’s strength is incredible and she doesn’t let anything get her down.” 


Yoder says her favorite thing about Miller is how “positive and involved” she is. She thinks that this is due to her “amazing” support system. Miller has very supportive friends and family who keep her motivated to do her best.


As mentioned previously, Miller is very strong and goes through so much pain with surgeries and other procedures. When I asked her how she deals with the pain, she said  “I separate the top half of my body from the bottom half to sort of forget what is going on.” All of the support at home and great doctors help her get through it too. 


Miller was nominated  by her mom for Inspiring Teens Magazine’s Scholarship. Miller says “This is a great opportunity to share my story as well as a good opportunity for my future.”


 After high school, Miller plans on attending a four year college and eventually wants to transfer to the Burn Unit at Children’s Hospital to help kids like her. 


She loves meeting other burn survivors like herself. Miller has attended a camp for burn survivors around the world and has met survivors from all different countries. 

Sydney Miller and Emily Waner as kids. (Photo by Carrie Wallner)

Knowing Miller ever since we were born, she always lights up the room when she walks in. She is such a positive and inspirational influence on me and many of her other friends. I’ve seen her go through the absolute most pain and still have the most incredible smile on her face. From Fourth of July parties to Black Friday shopping trips, we always have so much fun together. In all the 17 years I have known her, I have never seen negativity come from her. I decided to write this article because she is one of the biggest inspirations to me. She is one of the strongest people I know.