PHILADELPHIA (WPIX)—Six-year-old Matthew Dziekan is like any other kid. His favorite food is a mixture of Doritos, pretzels, potato chips and Fritos. He loves Thomas the Train and is a huge fan of Captain Hook; so much that he is dressing up as him for Halloween.
However, Matthew, who is from Bayonne, is confined to a hospital bed at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His room on the cardiac floor has been transformed into a second home of sorts with pictures, stuffed animals, coloring books and snacks. It's where he has been for the past eight months.
Here is the backstory. Matthew had a heart transplant at just three months old because he was born with a heart disorder. After surgery, Matthew was in great shape.
" When it was good, it was good," says his mother Laureen.
" You were a normal kid," says Matt's father Erik. " You played soccer, tball, and went to school."
But, when Matthew turned five, complications kicked in and Matthew suffered a heart attack.
"The doctor's didn't think he would make it," described Laureen.
Thanks to the doctor's at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Matthew was placed on an artificial system that keeps his heart pumping.
Doctor Joseph Rossano, who is the Medical Director of heart transplants, describes the 'Berlin' hearts as a temporary fix.
"It's not a cure and it's not perfect," says Rossano.
What Matt really needs is a second heart transplant, a brand new heart. Before he can go home and fulfill his dreams of being a train conductor just like "Thomas."
"Matt is tough, he's a fighter."
Matthew is on the heart transplant list, and because of his condition, he is at the top of the list. In the meantime, the bills are skyrocketing. The Dziekan's hometown of Bayonne has had continuous charity events to help raise money for the bills.
And YOU can help out if you live in the area. Tonight , there is another dine-out event.
Here are the details:
Dining for Matthew Chris' Corner 117 West. 2nd Street, Bayonne, NJ