SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (03/08/18) - Never give up. Never quit. It's the motto of a Vassar native who now spends his life inspiring others.
Thursday retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills spoke to a few hundred people at the 2018 Region 3 Healthcare Coalition Trauma Symposium in Saginaw Township.
Mills was the keynote speaker for the doctors, nurse and other medical professionals.
"Never give up, never quit is my slogan and I truly live by that and I'm very grateful for the opportunities that I have to be out there, speaking across the nation," Mills said.
Mills lost part of all four limbs while serving our country in Afghanistan. He sat a backpack down and an IED exploded.
"I never dwell in the past, I can't change what happened yesterday, I can't change what happened six years ago," Mills said.
His message to the healthcare works in attendance was simple.
"I always tell people be assertive and confident, you know you've got to know when to push back and make sure that you don't baby people. Like for me, if my therapist would have babied me I probably wouldn't be where I am today. They were just kind of hard-nosed, 'you're going to do it this way'. They knew when to care and when to push. I'm just grateful for people out there that can do this kind of stuff and make it possible for guys like me to be able to bounce back and walk and drive and do things," Mills said.
Dr. Sujal Patel, Covenant HealthCare's trauma medical director, said the right attitude can be some of the best medicine. "The positive attitude, because patients with positive attitudes do awesome."
Dr. Patel said there are lessons to be learned from Mills' evolving recovery. "There's never an end point, and you keep moving, and his motivation and the goals that he keeps resetting, is important for any patient that you take care of," he said.
Aside from speaking engagement, Mills works to help other wounded and injured veterans and their families through his foundation, the Travis Mills Foundation. Learn more by clicking on the 'Related Link' with this story.
But his favorite role is being a father of two.
His son Dax is six-months-old, while his daughter Chloe is six-years-old. He's enjoying this stage in life.
"My daughter was four-months-old until my daughter was about nine or 10-months-old, like I was still recovering. So I was there but not as much as I would have liked to be, now my son I'll be there the whole time," Mills said.