MIAMI (CBS4) – While the NBA lockout continues, one Miami Heat player is taking advantage of time home with his family.
Mike Miller says he appreciates his children that much more after the birth of his daughter during last year’s NBA finals.
After a difficult pregnancy, little Jaelyn was born with a congenital heart defect. She had four holes in heart and was immediately put into intensive care at Holy Cross Hospital. Doctors didn’t know if she would need open heart surgery.
“You sometimes take for granted different situations,” said Miller. “Her being here is a blessing in itself.”
While this would be a stressful time for any parent, Miller was in the middle of the NBA finals. He says he thought about not going a couple of times, but his wife Jennifer talked him out of it. In between games he held Jaelyn in the hospital, and then gave it his all on the court, even wearing pink shoe laces in her honor.
Miller says Heat fans gave him and his family support by asking how his daughter was before asking about a game.
“In our profession we’re looked at like basketball players. When I am looked at how family is doing that means more to me,” said Miller.
Jaelyn didn’t need surgery and fortunately, two of the four holes have closed up on their own. Doctors are hopeful the same thing will happen to the other holes.
Jaelyn is now at home with her big brothers Mason and Maverick.
“She’s been through a lot, everything about her, she’s so good,” said Jennifer Miller.
The Millers have given a lot of money over the years to children’s hospitals. They feel like Jaelyn’s recovery is a sign that they’ve been doing the right thing.
Even though Mike is not playing basketball right now, Mike admits he’s not the one handling midnight diaper duties.
“It would sound really good if I said yes,” he said with a smile. “So for the sake of this interview I’ll say I am, but I’m not.”