Matt Millen Undergoes Successful Heart Transplant

Penn State football legend Matt Millen underwent a “wildly successful” heart transplant, according to his son’s Facebook page.

“We are praising God this morning that dad’s heart transplant was ‘wildly successful’ last night,” Millen’s son said on Monday morning. “What a wonderful Christmas gift! The doctors said the heart was ‘a perfect fit’ and everything went smoothly during the surgery.”

Millen underwent the procedure at 1 a.m. on Christmas Eve after spending three months in Newark Beth Israel Hospital in New Jersey waiting for a match. He was diagnosed with amyloidosis — a rare heart disease which often goes undiagnosed for long periods of time due to its symptoms — in the summer of 2017. The Whitehall Township, PA native had to step away from his analyst role with the Big Ten Network due to health concerns.

Millen managed symptoms of the disease for seven years, but he didn’t receive a definitive diagnosis until a 15-minute visit to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. Some of the disease’s symptoms are shortness of breath and chest pains, which are commonly associated with other heart ailments.

The Whitehall High School standout became an All-American defensive tackle during his college football career in Happy Valley. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1980 NFL Draft, and later played for the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

He won a Super Bowl with each NFL team he played for during his 12-season NFL career before becoming a sports broadcaster when his playing career came to a close. The Detroit Lions brought Millen on as their CEO and de facto general manager from 2001-2007, but he returned to the broadcast booth after that.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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