Ex-Lions GM Matt Millen needs heart transplant 'fairly soon'
Former NFL linebacker and Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen is in the hospital awaiting a heart transplant and needs one "fairly soon," according to a report by NBC Sports.
Millen has been suffering from amyloidosis, a rare disease that would eventually require the surgery. Two months ago to the day, Millen stepped away from his work as a broadcaster with the Big Ten Network to focus on his health -- and presumably prepare for a potential transplant.
King reported that Monday is the 68th day that Millen, a former ESPN employee, has been waiting for a transplant in an undisclosed hospital in New Jersey. King said Millen will be in the hospital until he receives a new heart.
Millen, 60, went public about his disease in April, when he told the Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania, that his heart was working at 30 percent of its capacity. Amyloidosis occurs when amyloid builds up in bone marrow and then spreads to organs and other body tissue. As it does, it can cause organs to fail. The Mayo Clinic has reported that 70 percent of people diagnosed with amyloidosis are men between the ages of 60 and 70.
Millen was a second-round pick for Oakland out of Penn State in 1980, and he was a linebacker for 12 season in the NFL for the Raiders, San Francisco and Washington. He was an All-Pro twice, Pro Bowler once and won four Super Bowls.
After becoming a broadcaster following his playing days, Millen was hired by the Lions in 2001 to become team president and general manager. He was fired during the middle of the 2008 season by Detroit -- a year that ended with the league's first 0-16 campaign.