Jason “Buddy” Miller
Back in 2019 the Men of League Foundation became aware of the truly inspirational Jason “Buddy” Miller, a former rugged footy player who hails originally from Taree in NSW. In October 2018, Buddy was admitted to the newly built Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney suffering from a painfully sore throat, with no indication that he would soon be fighting for his life.
Buddy was subsequently diagnosed with severe bacterial infections that became septic, causing toxic shock syndrome which shut down his internal organs. He was then placed into a medically induced coma with his condition critical. Despite being gravely ill, Buddy woke up five days later – much to the surprise of senior medical staff, his family and especially his then 7yr old daughter, Jhayda.
Unfortunately, because of his illness, Buddy’s hands and legs had to be amputated and so he began a long and arduous road to recovery with artificial limbs, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Buddy still cannot praise the doctors and medical staff at the Northern Beaches Hospital enough for saving his life.
Wellbeing Officers Ian Dodds, Norm Pounder, Geoff Squires, Fred Jackson and Ken Vessey from the Northern Sydney Men of League Committee visited Buddy several times at the Mona Vale Hospital Rehab Unit and stayed in touch with him upon discharge. During a recent home visit, Buddy inspired our volunteers with his happy go lucky outlook on life and the way he spoke of his love for his young daughter Jhayda, the Manly Sea Eagles and how he loved living in Manly where he could watch his former work mates manning the Manly Ferries as they darted across Sydney Harbour.
Despite his traumatic experience, Buddy is a shining example of courage and fierce determination in the face of adversity, with just a little help from the wonderful wellbeing volunteers of the Northern Sydney Men of League committee.