It was a routine traffic stop in March of 2000 that changed Baltimore City Police Sargent Kevin Miles’s life forever. Standing alongside a vehicle he had pulled over, Miles was struck by a semi-tractor trailer that dragged him five and a half city blocks. The accident severed the officer’s leg and broke every bone in his body, leaving Miles in a coma for over five months.
“According to doctors, I’m not supposed to be walking at all,” Miles says. He has proved them wrong.
Then one night in January of 2013, Miles awoke to his landlord’s three-year-old son standing in the hallway, mesmerized by the glow of flames peeking out from a closed door down the hall. Smoke was filling the air and the fire was spreading quickly. Miles had only been walking on his own for eight months but he scooped the little boy up in one hand, and holding his walking cane in the other, got him to safety. Miles went back inside to salvage one prized possession—his great-grandfather’s bible. A decision that nearly killed him.
Miles was overcome by smoke. He stopped breathing. A police offer responding to the house fire pulled Miles, still clutching the family bible, out of the house and rescued him by performing CPR. He was alive but living alone he had no one to turn to for help.
“I’m normally on the other side—helping people. I used to be a police officer.”
Due to the health issues from his original accident, Miles relies on several expensive daily medications that were all destroyed in the blaze. One of the first visitors to see him in the hospital was American Red Cross nursing volunteer Phillip Bovender, who worked quickly to get Miles’ medicine replaced. At the same time, the Red Cross found emergency shelter for Miles and provided him with financial assistance to replace other necessities like clothing and food.
“Besides just being there financially to help pick me back up, Phillip was there for moral support as well. I was able to talk to him.” Miles says. “Phillip put all his effort in and put heart and concern into it too. I wasn’t a case number.”
These days, Miles spends a lot of his time volunteering with a Baltimore County homeless shelter and is settled into a new place to live. He credits the Red Cross for helping to get him back on his feet.
“The Red Cross gives you the utmost respect. No matter how far down you are, they want to help pick you back up,” says Miles.
The Red Cross was there for Miles so he could continue his good works and continue to be there for others.
“If anyone came to me and said, ‘where is there a good place to donate to; or give my time to help?’ I would highly recommend the Red Cross.” Miles says. “It means an awful lot to know that someone cares about you even though they don’t know you.”