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Family restricted from funds for kidney transplant

5:12 PM, Nov 1, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Matt Miller, 21, has battled kidney problems since he was a child. We first met him in 2011, graduating West Nassau High.

"It is a weight off my shoulders," said Miller.

That year, he was also preparing for his second kidney transplant and the Callahan community held a fund raiser to make it happen.

In November 2013, Miller is in the hospital again still waiting on his transplant.

"I don't feel my faith has diminished any," he said.

He has a donor; the problem is his health. He finds hope and comfort in the bible that sits in his lap, but the doctors told his mother the transplant may never happen. 

"God gave him to me and only God will take him away, so we fight every minute of every day," said Dedee Miller.

Her faith is strong, but her son's recurring health conditions means his body is not right for a transplant. 

"Now they're saying weeks to months," she said. "He has been turned over to hospice."

Organizers of the April 2011 fund raiser determined to help Miller get his kidney transplant raised nearly $40,000. Miller said her son needs it now. 

"The doctor gave me a prescription for a bed, he also gave me a prescription for a chair," she said, "and he needs eye glasses." 

But Miller just discovered the fund can only be used for a transplant.

"No one knew this," she said, "until now."

In fact, $15,000 of the money was returned to a donor who gave on one condition: Miller gets the transplant.

"Everything is falling apart, my house is facing foreclosure," she said, "Getting gas just to come to the hospital is a struggle."

Miller feels misled by what was promised in 2011 when the fund was created.

"I honestly can't believe there is one person that if I stood before them and ask if I took the money the fund to buy these things they would say no to that," said Miller.

The committee that helped raised the nearly $40,000 for Matt Miller's kidney transplant plans to meet next week to determine how to use the remaining money.

One organizer said they may decide to fund some things or use it to cover possible funeral expenses.

First Coast News

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