E:60JournalismJournalism Showcase

“We waited for her at the entrance of the hospital, with our camera rolling. We filmed her wheeling in the donor heart.”

An E:60 producer previews "All Heart," the extraordinary story of NFL great Matt Millen's journey to an organ transplant

On Oct. 1, 2018, four-time Super Bowl champion Matt Millen was admitted into the intensive care unit at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey, one of the nation’s best hospitals for heart transplants.

The rare disease AL Amyloidosis severely damaged Millen’s heart, forcing him to remain in the hospital until he received a transplant. E:60 was with Millen every step of the way.

“All Heart,” the story of Millen’s heart transplant produced by Pia Malbran and reported by Jeremy Schaap, airs Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN.

“As the producer, I was on standby every day waiting to get a call that a donor heart had been identified for Matt. I had to be ready for it to happen at any moment,” said Malbran. “On December 23, shortly before 5 p.m., the hospital sent me a message that the transplant was happening that evening.”

It was at that moment, on the night before Christmas Eve, that Malbran and the crew stopped what they were doing to get to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.

“Our E:60 production manager Megan Anderson contacted cameraman Mike Bollacke, who lives about two hours outside Newark. I then met Mike, his audio tech Dan Walter and camera assistant/media manager Brian Murphy at the hospital around 8 p.m.,” said Malbran. “Upon arriving, we began filming everything Matt and the hospital staff felt comfortable with. We had to stay out of the way, in order not to interfere with anything that was happening, while still being present.”

Malbran captured incredible raw moments.

“At around 2:30 a.m., we were told Matt’s surgeon, Dr. Margarita Camacho, was arriving with the donor heart. We waited for her at the entrance of the hospital, with our camera rolling,” Malbran said. “We filmed her wheeling in the donor heart. Matt’s surgery ended at 5:25 a.m. on December 24. The experience was incredibly moving and a great honor.”

Throughout their time spent with Millen, he made them laugh often and reflect more deeply about life.

“Matt had, and still has, a big heart, literally and figuratively,” Malbran said.

ESPN.com and The Undefeated take home Associated Press Sports Editors Top Ten Awards
“It’s incredibly gratifying to see our terrific teammates recognized for their ambition, innovative spirit and commitment to creating unforgettable storytelling for sports fans,” said Senior Vice President, Original Content, Rob King. “Today’s a real testament to the idea that building a cohesive, inclusive organization drives excellent, award-worthy results.”

– Molly Mita

1. College GameDay covered by State Farm heads to Texas for its very first appearance at the University of Houston on Saturday, March 2 (11 a.m. ET, ESPN). Houston has the best record in the country at 26-1 with 33 straight home wins.

2. ESPN will offer comprehensive coverage from the NFL Scouting Combine, highlighted by a two-hour special on ABC that will feature live action from the quarterback and wide receiver workouts. Trey Wingo will host NFL Live: NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday, March 2, at 1 p.m. ET from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis with Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Louis Riddick, Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

3. ESPN will kick off its 24th straight season of Major League Soccer on Sunday, March 3, with a doubleheader: D.C. United vs. 2018 MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC at 6 p.m., and Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting Kansas City at 8:30 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live on the ESPN App. Spanish-language telecasts will also be available on ESPN Deportes.

4. This Sunday the top women’s college gymnastics programs come face to face when defending national champion UCLA Bruins travel to top-ranked Oklahoma on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Close