Heart walk on track at PNC Field – News

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KYLE WIND / STAFF PHOTO More than 2,000 people attended the Northeast PA Heart Walk on Saturday at PNC Field in Moosic.

KYLE WIND / STAFF PHOTO Matthew Mursch Jr., who was born with a heart defect, was the child chair for Saturday’s Northeast PA heart walk.


MOOSIC — During her pregnancy, Lynn Mursch remembers walking into her 18-week anatomy scan excited to find out the gender of her baby, and walking out terrified because she also found out her son had a serious congenital heart defect.


“We knew we had to do whatever we could to bring this deserving baby into the world and give him the best that we possibly could,” the Scranton resident told an approximately 2,000-person crowd at PNC Field Saturday, stopping to collect herself before resuming. “He was born on Nov. 29, 2011. They brought him to my bedside after stabilizing him only to rush him back to the ICU.”


Mursch was unable to hold Matthew Jr. until he was 6 days old, then had to hand him over to a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia surgeon for his first open-heart surgery at 7 days old, she told attendees of the Northeast PA Heart Walk.


His second open-heart surgery came when he was 3 months old. The third open-heart procedure came at 2½ years old. He’s already endured 12 cardiac catheterizations, three PICC line placements and many other invasive treatments and procedures.


Despite everything that went along with his hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, Matthew Jr. gobbled Swedish fish Saturday as his parents said in an interview their son is going into kindergarten in the fall and just started playing T-ball for North Scranton.


They still have the urge to wrap him in two layers of bubble-wrap, however, and don’t know what the future holds.


“All kids with congenital heart defects are different,” his mother said. “He could need more surgery. He could possibly need a transplant in the long run. We just take it a day at a time.”


Mursch also described her son, who led the annual heart walk and was the child chair for this year’s event, as…

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