JONESBORO, IL (KFVS) - A Jonesboro boy is what doctors call a medical miracle after an ATV accident.
Milam Smith's injuries were so extensive, there's no clear reason why he survived. But because he did, his parents are sharing his story and want to pay it forward so that other families can get the same support they received.
For the Smiths, May 16, 2011 was the scariest moment of their lives.
"He was going so fast, I couldn't catch him and I was helpless and then to find him where he hit the tree Just laying there unconscious," said Tyge Smith, Milam's dad.
"and still holding on," said Ashley Smith, Milam's mom.
Their four-year-old son, Milam, drove his ATV straight into a tree.
"My husband called and said Milam's been in a bad accident and he has lost half his face," Ashley Smith said.
The crash would result in breaking every bone in his face; detaching his pallet and the roof of his mouth; and demolishing his eye sockets and fracturing his skull.
"You think what could we of done different, he had all of the protective gear on, he's been riding he has been around them since he was a baby, you train them to do what they are suppose to do, you can't help an accident," she said.
But it would only be an accident, one that wouldn't claim the young boy's life even though doctors say it should have. And so, the road to recovery began.
"You never want to leave your child," Tyge Smith said.
While at St. Louis Children's Hospital for four months, the Smiths never left their son's side. Which they say would not have been possible without the Ronald McDonald House.
"I pray every day, can you please show me what good is going to come from this and there has been a lot of good that has came from this accident that would of never happened, there has been a lot of bad, but there have been a lot of good things too. And I think those will be bigger in the end," Ashley Smith said.
The Smiths plan to use Milam's story to give back at a benefit Saturday.
"If we can do anything for another family so that if it makes it a little less stressful on them, we will be happy," she said.
So other families, if ever in their shoes, can get the support they received.
"You might be able to help a family who is sleeping out in the parking garage with a kid in ICU, a place to sleep that night," she said.
"I can't even explain how thankful we are," Tyge Smith said.
The fundraiser is called "Milams Challenge," and will be Saturday, November 9 at the Little Egypt Off Road Park in Marion. It starts at 10 a.m.
There will be ATV riding, but plenty of other events and things to do for the whole family.
All proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House charity.