Archive Page - 08/16/13 40 years, 2,169 covers and 54,876 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- VIDEO: See Joanna Krupa's Egg-Retrieval Procedure
- The Style Top 5: The Best Star Style From the PEOPLE Magazine Awards
- It's Another Girl for Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell!
- Which Former Boy Band Member Will Compete on The Amazing Race?
- Kim Kardashian Wore Fur-Lined Strappy Stilettos, and Yes, There are Photos
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Saturday December 20, 2014 12:10AM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 08, 2008
- Vol. 70
- No. 23
Anything for His Girl
His Baby's Life on the Line, Chicago Bears Star Charles Tillman Petitioned the FDA for An Experimental Heart Pump That Kept Her Alive Until She Received a Transplant
Tiana had cardiomyopathy, a disease affecting 1 in 100,000 children that prevented her heart from pumping blood through her body. She needed a transplant, but finding an infant donor could take months—time Tiana didn't have. Weeks later, sedated, hooked up to a heart-lung bypass machine and suffering from an infection, "she had gone downhill," says Tillman. "She was losing her will."
Doctors then raised another option: the Berlin Heart, a small external cardiac pump [see box]. Without it, "the chance of Tiana dying while waiting for a donor would have been very high," says one of her surgeons, Dr. Sunjay Kaushal of Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. While pumps for adults are available in the U.S., none for infants have yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (The device is currently in trials at 15 hospitals around the country.)
Desperate, the Tillmans asked the FDA for a "compassionate use" waiver for the Berlin Heart, which has been used to treat 500 babies worldwide since 1990, and 180 in the U.S. and Canada. Within a week their request was granted, parts were shipped to Chicago, and doctors immediately attached the device to Tiana's tiny coronary arteries. The next day she opened her eyes for the first time in two weeks. "Her hands and feet felt warm again. She stopped urinating blood. It was amazing," says Jackie, 27, a homemaker.
But the clock was still ticking: Berlin Hearts are meant to be interim measures until a donor organ is available or the patient heals. Remarkably, two days later a donor was found. "I was happy, but I struggled with another kid dying for my kid to live," says Tillman. "I didn't want anyone to sacrifice other than myself."
After an eight-hour surgery, Tiana had a new heart. In a month she came home to join sister Talya, 3. And while she takes medication so her body won't reject the heart, doctors say she can expect an active life. Today she is a "very happy" baby, says her dad, who even thrills at dirty-diaper changes. "I'm looking at a miracle," he coos to Tiana. "You're a stinky miracle."
December 19, 2014
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!