Matt Millen

February 4, 2023

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Bucks County Super Bowl champion receives successful heart transplant

On Christmas Eve 2018, four-time Super Bowl champion Matt Millen received a donor heart at age 60. The transplant was deemed “wildly successful.”

But, let’s rewind. In 2017, Bucks County resident Matt was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare disease that occurs when abnormal proteins produced in the bone marrow build up in organs or tissue. In Matt’s case, his heart was affected, reducing it to 30% of its normal function. Since his diagnosis, he had already undergone several chemotherapy treatments, which can help stop cell growth. 

“I know what you have,” the doctor had told Matt. “And you’re not going to like it.”

After spending nearly three months in the hospital due to amyloidosis complications, a heart transplant was the answer to Matt’s prayers.

“The doctors said the heart was ‘a perfect fit’ and everything went smoothly during the surgery,” said the Bucks County resident in a Facebook post. “THANK YOU to everyone who was praying!”

A graduate of Whitehall High School, Matt became an All-America defensive tackle at Penn State before he was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 1980 NFL Draft. He went on to play 12 seasons as a linebacker in the NFL, winning Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins. Matt is the former Detroit Lions president and general manager, and most recently served as lead analyst for the Big Ten Network. 

When asked about his time waiting for a heart, Matt believes it’s all about taking the good with the bad. “I’ve always lived this way. You take what you get. I look over my life, and it’s been a storybook. I have an awesome family, a phenomenal wife and you can’t ask for more,” he said.

“When a bump comes up in the road, you deal with it. It’s ridiculous to feel sorry for yourself. I’m thankful for what I have, and I’ll take what I get.”