NBC NEWS' "A LEAP OF FAITH: A MEREDITH VIEIRA SPECIAL" INTRODUCES VIEWERS TO AN EMERGING MEDICAL BREAK-THROUGH THAT COULD SAVE BILLIONS OF LIVES
Two-Hour Primetime Special Airs Friday, June 27th at 8pm/7c
NEW YORK - June 23, 2014 - On Friday, June 27th at 8pm/7c, NBC News will air "A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special." The special report takes viewers inside the front lines of an emerging medical break-through that is both experimental and controversial -- but has the potential to save billions of lives. "A Leap of Faith" provides an exclusive look inside the emotional journey of Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, his patients, and their families as he attempts to revolutionize the way we treat even the most deadly diseases.
Meredith Vieira closely follows the work of Dr. Macchiarini, who is at the forefront of the field of regenerative medicine. Using stem cells from a patient's own body to grow new organs in a lab, regenerative medicine could potentially eliminate the need for donor organs in the future. Macchiarini is the only doctor in the world who performs transplants with completely artificial, bio-engineered organs. His work has been criticized for being experimental and risky, but he is willing to take chances to help his patients. Dr. Macchiarini tells Vieira, "You see a patient and this patient has no other alternatives. And he will die very, very soon. As a human, and as a doctor, are we allowed to say no? I don't think so."
Meredith Vieira shares the powerful, at times heartbreaking stories of patients like a single dad from Baltimore who was being suffocated by an inoperable tumor; a toddler from South Korea who had spent her entire life in the hospital, unable to breathe on her own; and a former Russian dancer who was left with a gaping hole in her throat after a devastating car accident. "A Leap of Faith" is about the brave pioneers who are willing to take chances in the name of science.
"A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special" is an NBC News production. David Corvo is the senior executive producer, Benita Alexander is the producer, Brooke Nevils and Sergei Ivonin are additional producers, Jennifer Eng is associate producer, Deborah Kim is assistant producer and Justin Cece and Ed Eaves are editors of the special.