Mike Miller put the hospital bracelet around his wrist the day his baby girl was born. He hasn't taken it off. He intends to wear it through the NBA Finals.
The bracelet is a symbol of survival.
Miller has survived. He has endured a basketball season of agony and ecstasy. First, he joined the Heat as a projected starter alongside the Big 3 of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh and his former Florida teammate Udonis Haslem. Then, he was sidelined by a series of injuries, including severely sprained thumbs, knee soreness and concussion symptoms.
Now, with the Heat near the pinnacle in the NBA Finals, Miller is coping with the medical crisis of his newborn daughter.
Jaelyn Miller has survived. She is 2 weeks old. She was born with a ventricle septal defect — four holes in her heart. After spending her first 10 days in a neonatal intensive care unit, she went home Saturday.
"She's getting better every day," Miller's wife, Jennifer, said Wednesday over the phone, with Jaelyn cooing in the background as her two brothers peppered her with kisses.
Since May 19, Miller has been shifting between two disparate worlds — from basketball arena to hospital, from ebullient play land to grim waiting room, from noisy, sweat-soaked gym to hushed, sterile bedside.
Miller has found himself in a state of sleep-deprived disorientation. In one moment, he's crunching the flashing numbers on the scoreboard. In another, he's analyzing the beeping numbers of the monitors attached to his baby.
Back and forth Miller has traveled, changing from uniform into hospital gown and shedding his identity as a pro basketball star for that of father and husband.
As Jaelyn's heart gains strength, so does his.
Miami Heat's Mike Miller juggles family, basketball
Miami Herald | Jun 2