Former Detroit Lions GM and NFL/college football analyst Matt Millen is waiting for a heart transplant, and needs one “fairly soon”. NBC’s Peter King reports that Millen has been waiting for a heart transplant at a New Jersey hospital for over two months. Earlier this year, Millen was diagnosed with a rare disease called amyloidosis and it forced him to leave his role with Big Ten Network in October.
According to King, the disease is advancing rapidly, so much that doctors have told Millen that he needs a new heart “fairly soon.” The diagnosis is keeping Millen in the hospital until he gets a new heart.
When Millen revealed his diagnosis to the Morning Call in Allentown, PA earlier this year, he said his heart was working at only 30 percent of its capacity. Amyloidosis is a condition in which amyloid builds up in bone marrow and eventually spreads to tissue and organs, and can lead to organ failure. There’s no cure, but it can be treated, and this is why the heart transplant is needed.
Millen had been working a full broadcast schedule while undergoing chemotherapy, but the disease eventually caused him to stop working for Big Ten Network.
After a long playing career in the NFL for the Raiders, 49ers, and Redskins, Millen became a broadcaster for CBS and moved to Fox in 1994. He then became the general manager for the Detroit Lions, but was fired in 2008 following a winless season.
He returned to broadcasting with NFL Network and ESPN, and eventually moved to Big Ten Network, where he was the main analyst alongside Kevin Kugler.
Big Ten Network produced a feature on his battle with amyloidosis earlier this year:
In the meantime, Millen waits for a new heart hoping that he’ll have some good news sooner than later.