SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – “The strength of a mother is second to none” is a saying that mother-of-4 Rylee Miller embodies every day. 

For Rylee, life is a balance between family and something a bit more serious – Rylee is living with a life-threatening medical condition. 

“My pregnancy was totally normal. I delivered at full-term, it was my fourth C-section,” Rylee said. “The nurse came to check my catheter bag and there was no urine created in the bag, but there were blood clots in it.”

In January 2023, less than 24 hours after Rylee gave birth to her 4th daughter, doctors told Rylee she had Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, or DIC. It’s a condition that causes abnormal blood clotting in blood vessels. Doctors say it often has a deadly outcome. 

“Every time we share that Rylee has had DIC, every physician, nurse, their first reaction is, ‘Wow, she’s alive,’” Rylee’s husband, Blake Miller said. 

They say her survival is a miracle, but the treatment for DIC severely damaged Riley’s kidneys. 

“It’s not what I would hope for but when bad things happen you just find a way to continue doing the things you love,” Rylee said. 

She keeps a surprisingly positive outlook, especially when you learn Riley is already a cancer survivor. In 2020, Rylee had surgery and went through significant treatment for thyroid cancer. 

“To have your wife go through something so severe as this after already experiencing cancer,” Blake said. “We’ve had many conversations previously about how grateful we are that I’m not a single dad raising three girls, now four girls.” 

It’s been an experience that hasn’t just affected Blake and Rylee, but has taken a toll on the entire Miller family. 

“It was hard having her at all the appointments,” Rylee’s daughter Ruby said. “She was never really home, it was mostly just grandmas and grandpas which was fun having them, but I prefer to have my mom at home.” 

For the Millers, the past few months have been a challenge, balancing medical care with school, sports, and family time, but they’re counting their blessings. 

They say one is surviving DIC. A second is that the baby born in January is perfectly healthy. A third, they say, is the kindness of others.

“While I was in the hospital for two weeks I often didn’t know where my girls were,” Rylee said. “My family just took over, my neighbors just took over carpools, they drove my children to and from school every day.” 

Now, Rylee spends her days with her children doing at-home dialysis, as a family, waiting and hoping for a kidney. 

“I really want my mom to help raise us and help my dad with everything,” Ruby said. “I want my sisters to have a happy life and I want a happy life with my parents and I want my parents to die a happy life.” 

They say it’s not an easy journey, but they’re doing it with a mother’s strength and a child’s hope.