Lower Burrell heart patient's fight just beginning
The family of Tim Horwatt hopes the community he has supported over the years will return the favor this Saturday.
Horwatt, 44, of Lower Burrell has mounting medical expenses due to a lifelong heart condition that now requires a heart transplant.
His cousin, Leslie Petrosky of Lower Burrell, said his family members decided to sponsor a pasta dinner Saturday at the Kinloch Volunteer Fire Department.
“When he gets a new heart, the cost is going to be outrageous,” Petrosky said.
Although Horwatt has medical insurance, not all costs will be covered, she said.
“Afterward, there will be medical expenses, medicines, back-and-forth trips to hospital,” Petrosky said.
Horwatt's mother, Nancy Horwatt Rainey of Lower Burrell, said her son hasn't been able to work for several years due to his failing health.
He was born with a congenital defect called a transposition of the great vessels. The two major arteries of his heart were connected to the wrong chambers and didn't pump blood correctly.
“Basically, it means his heart operates backward,” Rainey said.
She said Horwatt had a corrective surgery called a Mustard procedure when he was 2 years old.
“The correction held him for 40 years, but it has started to fail,” she said.
Earlier in June, Horwatt had surgery to install a ventricular assist device (VAD) to help his heart pump blood temporarily. He continued to recover in the intensive care unit at UPMC Presbyterian hospital this week.
“They hope this will bridge him until he can get a new heart,” Rainey said.
She said her son twice was called about a possible donor heart, but twice doctors determined the heart wasn't a match.
“It's hard to say how long he will have to wait,” Rainey said. “It could be in the next three months, or it could be the next 20-some months.”
She said Horwatt's heart condition prevented him from participating in most sports as a child, but he has volunteered with many sporting organizations as an adult.
He serves as president of the Burrell Gridiron Club that supports the high school's varsity football team. His son, upcoming senior Tyler Horwatt, is a player, and his cousin, Kevin Horwatt, is a coach.
Tim Horwatt also has assisted the rugby and youth football and wrestling programs in Lower Burrell as well as the Kinloch fire department, his family said.
“He's always been a very active guy,” Rainey said. “Tim wasn't able to play himself and has been involved in the fundraising and everything else.”
“He's a jack-of-all-trades,” Petrosky said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Subdivision goes without snow removal as Buffalo Township awaits finalized deal with Maronda Homes
- Lower Burrell 5th-grader illustrates power of kindness with cancer charity
- Residents opposed to drilling, Consol subsidiary make cases in Allegheny Township
- Popular Super Bowl, March Madness traditions prohibited under state law
- Woman killed in Washington Township crash
- Arnold officer injured in attempt to detain suspect
- New Kensington spay/neuter clinic targets animal overpopulation
- Burgettstown superintendent to take job as Deer Lakes principal
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Tarentum service honors legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
- New Kensington-Arnold School District considers bond issue