The Gift of Life
While in the hospital, Tiana fought for her life. Doctors said Tiana's only hope was a heart transplant, and she'd have to rely on heart and lung machines to keep her alive while they waited for a donor. Charles and Jackie put Tiana on the donor waiting list, but they knew it would take a miracle to save her. "You think about what you [would] do if she was no longer here; you think about how lonely you'd be, how empty you'd be," Charles says. "Then you just pray."
Three months passed, and Tiana's health was getting worse. Doctors suggested an experimental device called the Berlin heart, and the Tillmans agreed to try it. After an eight-hour surgery, the artificial heart beat life into Tiana, but it was only a temporary solution. She desperately needed a new heart.