Local News

From the Times News

December, 1981


A Lake Hauto doctor, who practices medicine at Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton, was given a "Congressman's Medal of Honor" for emergency service he performed last December 9, 1981.

Dr. Richard C. Miller was given the gold colored medal on a short red, white and blue ribbon by Congressman James Nelligan when the U.S. representative made a visit to Lehighton this past week.

Standing by Dr. Miller's side while the congressman pinned the medal onto his chest was Janice Miller, the doctor's wife.

The congressman reported on the brave deed by the doctor last December 9 which made him eligible to receive the medal. The award was presented before an audience of about 30 persons in the Lehighton Municipal Building.

Dr. Miller had been called early in the morning on December 9 to deliver a baby girl for a patient, Mrs. Donna Thomas, wife of Martin Thomas of Tamaqua.

As Dr. Miller was enroute to the hospital, his vehicle struck a patch of ice near the Orioles Lodge about a half mile from the hospital, and overturned onto its roof.

Dr. Miller lost his shoes in the accident, but despite a bitter cold morning, he knew he had a patient in need. So he walked barefoot to the hospital.

Not only was this a noble gesture by Dr. Miller, but when he arrived at the hospital, after delivering the baby, it was discovered Dr. Miller had a fractured vertebra.

Dr. Miller said, after receiving the medal, "I suppose if it happened again I'd do the same thing."

He added, "My patient was in need. I guess it was a situation where you do what you have to do."

Nick: Here's a photo of Rich when he was Captain of the Lehigh University football team in 1967. Rich was also co-captain of the 1962 undefeated, untied Coaldale Tigers football team, coached by Geno Poli.