Basketball analyst Tim Miles had his glasses amputated from his face Wednesday following a freak fall that broke his eyewear in four places.
Miles, who is known to fall down and go boom, did exactly that while jogging around his neighborhood in a plaid button-down shirt, black slacks and brown dress shoes. His glasses made first impact and have become the incident’s casualty.
I secured an exclusive interview with the former Nebraska men’s basketball head coach and fourth Keebler elf moments after his successful emergency surgery was complete.
“I feel naked,” Miles said, laying face up on a hospital bed with white bandages covering both of his eyes. “I feel confused. Good golly, I do not feel like myself.”
Miles, who was born with Shittyvisionmialgia, a rare condition that affects one in every seven billion babies from birth, has had glasses attached to his face since he was in his mother’s womb. It complicated the birthing process, but it was a unique and goofy characteristic that his parents immediately embraced, he said.
“Shittyvisionmialgia has always impacted my life, but my parents have always been there for me, even when it was hard,” he explained.
I spoke with his parents, Alyce and Norbert “Tip” Miles, about raising a son with Shittyvisionmialgia in the hospital waiting room.
“It was very difficult when he was a baby and toddler,” Alyce said. “Washing him was always a hassle, and he would cry for hours in his crib, because his glasses would constantly be in his way. We had to learn to live with it as much as he did.”
As he got older, though, Tim Miles found confidence in his condition. Technology has come a long way since he was born in 1966, and for years, he has had the option of having his glasses safely removed. But he never wanted to, he said. It became a core piece of his being, something much deeper than a fashion accessory or visual aide.
“Tim Miles is glasses,” he said, beginning to choke up. “How can there be a Tim Miles without glasses?”
Silence filled the room. I could feel the weight of the moment hitting him, and I was touched to share such a personal and intimate moment with a fellow man so I could broadcast it to the entire world over the internet. I had an inkling that his parents should be there for him and not me, but he couldn’t have more than two visitors at a time, these scoops were too juicy, and I wanted them all to myself.
I sat and watched Tim Miles softly sob, accompanied only by a beeping monitor in the otherwise still air.
“No one has ever truly seen my eyes before, not even my wife,” Miles murmured. “I’ve never even really seen them.”
I remained quiet, allowing Miles to process his emotions without my interference.
“But this is a new beginning,” he said, his attitude starting to shift and his head perking up. “I can be a new Tim Miles. My glasses didn’t make me who I was, I did.
“I can bounce back, just like I did the last time I fell,” he realized, triumphant in his resilience. “And I’ll do it with style!”
I stood and walked over to his bed, leaned down and hugged him. Miles wrapped his arms around me, and we embraced as two people coming together with a common understanding of the human condition. In that second, our hearts beat as one, and I came to realize something: this is the power of mankind. Love, honesty, reckoning and acceptance are central to the path of inner peace, and if we all submit ourselves to these wonderful whims of the world, all of our hearts can beat as one.