The Gift of Life
With severe storms in Chicago, the pilots landed the plane as close as they could to the hospital. Then, police officers escorted the heart the rest of the way. Charles says he had just returned from Bears training camp when Tiana's doctor called with the good news. When Jackie and Charles were unable to find a cab to take them to the hospital, they say they ran a mile on foot to get there as fast as they could. "When I saw the heart coming in, my adrenaline was pumping like I was in the Superbowl because this was going to save my daughter," Charles says.
The Tillmans were ecstatic that their daughter would get a second chance, but the moment was bittersweet. They knew that in order for Tiana to live, another child died. "I thought about the family the whole day," Charles says. "It was a hard day. It was a good day and a bad day all at the same time."
Magali's decision left Jackie nearly speechless. "There are no words that you can say to somebody who gives a gift like that," Jackie says. "For her to say yes and not know us and not know our situation or anything and save my child's life, there's nothing that can describe it."