EIU student dies from sudden heart problem

Published 03/05 2013 06:09PM

Updated 03/06 2013 09:42AM

CHARLESTON -- An 18-year old EIU student is dead. A heart valve tear sent him to the emergency room this weekend, but when he got there, it was too late. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley has his story.

"I said, 'what are you doing?' He said, 'well, I ate, and worked out, but I am DD tonight.'"

Matthew Lulinski volunteered to be the designated driver for his friends this weekend. His mom, Marianne, was nervous about the idea.

"He said, 'don't worry, it's not very far.'"

On the way to pick up his friends, he started feeling a lot of pressure in his chest. He pulled over and called 911.

"The nurse said, 'your son is here in serious condition.'"

Matthew had a torn aorta valve. He needed surgery, but there wasn't a cardiologist close enough who could do such a serious surgery.

"They go, 'do you want to talk to him?' I said, 'please!' He sounded like he was kind of out of breath. But I said, 'Matt are you alright? What happened?' He said, 'I had very bad chest pains' and he said 'my legs went out on me where my legs aren't working.'"

That would be the last time she spoke to her son.

"They called back and said he had passed on. My husband fell on his knees, fell to the floor and I was screaming with our friends."

The shock hasn't worn off. Now this family is leaning on friends and remembering their son's spirit.

"I think that we have to use our son's legacy as an inspiration to others."

Marianne says Matthew had the most giving heart. It's what she says she admires and will miss the most.

"I want to be like my son."

There will be a memorial for Matthew Lulinski Wednesday night at 7 pm in the university union. Everyone is welcome.

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