Matt Millen is battling the rare disease amyloidosis, and as he does, he’s now awaiting a heart transplant in the hospital. Recently, Peter King had an update on what Millen is facing, and explained that he’s been in the hospital for a total of 65 days waiting for a transplant as he tries to beat the disease which has sent proteins attacking his heart. His biggest shot now is getting said transplant, and it’s a tough story to read given the approaching holiday season.
Here’s a look at what King wrote in his Football Morning in America piece about Millen’s case and where he’s at now:
“On Friday, I spent a couple of hours with Matt Millen in a hospital in New Jersey. He’s been there so long he knows the names of every nurse on the floor. They cook for him—real meals from home, so he won’t have to eat hospital food all the time.
Friday was day 65 waiting for a heart transplant. The guy next door on his floor got a heart and kidney the other day, and Millen was happy. I asked him if he had heart envy when a neighbor on the floor got one, and he said hell no—he hopes they all get theirs.”
Millen’s future is up in the air, as it is unknown whether or not he will be able to get a transplant or not. He stepped away from his role at the Big Ten Network a few months back to fight and try to win, so the good news is at least he is still continuing with that.
After serving as player for the Penn State Nittany Lions and going on to the NFL where he would capture four Super Bowls, Millen was a broadcaster for Fox. In 2001, he jumped out of the booth and took over the Lions as general manager after a surprise offer. There, he did not enjoy success, and had the first instance of an NFL team going 0-16 on his resume, but more than that, had a team which struggled for the better part of a decade and never seemed to compete. That was the most frustrating part, as it didn’t seem that there was a clear direction at all. Millen struggled to draft the right players, and as a result, the franchise took the biggest hit in the end.
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Since, Millen has been impressive in his ability to admit blame and own up to his own mistakes, even saying he was in over his head within the role. Following his firing, Millen got back into broadcasting, where he’s been ever since calling the college game.
Now, with Millen struggling with the rare disease and perhaps on a ticking clock as it relates to his own future, he’s been even more open about his time in Detroit, and clearly does need the good thoughts of Lions fans. Though he struggled with his job, that’s now water under the bridge as time has passed, even if Millen was once a villain for fans of the franchise thanks to what he couldn’t do in the boardroom.
Certainly, everyone wishes Millen well now and hopes he gets his transplant.