Miracle Survivor

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - 8:47am

Illinois woman recovering after being impaled by a tree branch during Tuesday's storms.

For Helen Miller, having a tree limb crash through her windshield and impale her pales in comparison to the normally-fatal heart problem and medically-induced coma she went through last year, her husband said Tuesday night.

"It certainly was a fluke accident, but because last year's incident she was unconscious and unresponsive, her 30 solid days of ICU, for her to be attentive and certainly alert and even joking is a blessing," said Todd Miller.

Helen Miller, a Lake Villa elementary school art teacher, was driving in Lindenhurst, Illinois during the Tuesday morning commute when a branch fell 70 feet and crashed through the windshield of her Smart Car.

The branch entered the 41-year-old's abdomen, but only pierced some fat and muscle tissue and not any major organs.

Rescue crews took 20 minutes to extract her and part of the branch from her car.

She was then taken to Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for surgery.

"We are very blessed and very fortunate," said Todd Miller.

He said his wife was conscious and was singing a Vanilla Ice tune while being transported to the hospital.

Helen Miller wants to create an art sculpture from the limb.

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