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Tear jerker, based on a true story. Two mothers suffer abnormal pregnancies; one baby has a deficient heart and the other an incomplete brain. Minutes after the respective births, the doctors race against time to first ever heart transplant on a newborn infant. Written by
M Tunnicliffe <M.J.Tunnicliffe2@lboro.ac.uk>
Alice Hulc (Ann Jillian) is a pregnant woman in Vancouver who learns her baby has a hypoplastic left ventricle, where it's heart has not developed and it has little chance of survival. However Alice enrols at the Loma Linda University in California to await a heart transplant. She finds one with the child of Karen Schoulten (Michelle Greene) whose unborn baby's brain has not developed, and whose parents have agree to make the child a transplant donor. Thus it is proposed that the Schoulten heart goes to the Hulc baby, to become the youngest heart transplant patient in medical history.
Jillian here is thinner even though Alice is pregnant for most of the narrative, her hair is a full shoulder-length blonde, though thinner after she has been in the rain, and she uses a side part to the visit to Loma Linda, where otherwise she wears bangs. She has scenes where has tired and shadowy eyes, wearing little makeup, and Jillian uses an odd movement of her jaw in grief when she cries in reaction to the news of the condition of her child repeating `it's not fair'. Jillian pauses before she admits to her nervousness about a medical exam, is fearful in a light plane flight during a storm, and gives her husband Gordon (Terry O'Quinn) a sour look when they are told no one knows what the future will hold for their baby.
The teleplay by Susan Nanus, based on a true story, gets too bogged down in the character's reflective moments, which slows the narrative. In contrast, director Sandor Stein tries to turn the climax into a thriller with Alice flown in the storm and the transplant baby in another plane coming from Toronto, and having a pit stop at Denver. Nanus has Loma Linda ring Karen to confirm that she wants the transplant to go ahead with virtually everyone waiting, and there is an unintentional contextual laugh when we hear that someone has died from a heart attack.
O'Quinn doesn't have much to do but at least he looks touched by Jillian, Rip Torn as the transplant specialist Leonard Bailey is the most unlikely of doctors, and Bruce Greenwood as Karen's husband emotes constrictively.
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