Heart walk poster child Hutchins dies

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Christopher Kyle Hutchins died Tuesday at University Medical Center in Jackson. He would have been 2 on Sept. 29.

Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. today at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church, where the service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday.

Known for his charming bright smile, Kyle was the ideal poster child for the American Heart Association, said Jennifer Mire, family friend and an active volunteer with the association.

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&uot;The reason my husband, Blane, and I became involved in the Heart Association is that we hope research might help children like Kyle,&uot; she said.

Kyle, born in Natchez with a life-threatening cardiovascular defect, touched many lives and will continue to be a driving force within the ranks of Heart Association volunteers.

He was chosen the 2003 poster child for the annual Miss-Lou American Heart Walk on Nov. 8 in Natchez.

&uot;Kyle will be our poster child,&uot; Jennifer Mire said. &uot;The walk will touch people, I’m sure. Maybe he will help those who didn’t see the importance of the Heart Association to understand that they can make a difference.&uot;

Kyle’s parents, Chris and Skeeter Hutchins, will continue to honor their son by their participation in fund raising for heart research.

&uot;The basis of his illness was his heart,&uot; Chris Hutchins said. &uot;We want to keep up that involvement in the Heart Association.&uot;

Kyle was a special child, and no one knew better than his parents. Chris Hutchins said he is happy that so many other people came to know Kyle.

&uot;I believe Natchez is a better place for having been Kyle’s home. I believe families are stronger and people are better for having known him,&uot; he said.

The outpouring of support has been heart warming for the family, Chris said. Kyle was a brother to Kailey, who is 5; and a grandson to Alan and Stephanie Hutchins and Joe and Mary Brumfield, all of Natchez. His great-grandparents are Talmadge and Kathleen Hutchins of Natchez.

&uot;We have had lots of support from friends and family all along the way,&uot; Chris Hutchins said.

His short life included many hospital stays, Chris said. &uot;We spent so much time in the hospital, but at home he enjoyed every moment.&uot;

The family is at peace, he said. &uot;We grieved with him and struggled with him, but so did everyone else. Now we want everyone else to feel the peace that we do.&uot;

The Rev. James Earl &uot;Pete&uot; Herndon, pastor at Jefferson Street, has followed the family’s struggles. As their pastor, he confirms the parents’ strength in dealing with so devastating a loss.

&uot;They have lived with the knowledge that something like this could happen,&uot; Herndon said. &uot;They have accepted it with no bitterness but with peace and calm.&uot;

Kyle indeed was a special child, Herndon said. But he was treated the same as all the other children at church. &uot;We made him a part of everything in the church,&uot; he said.

&uot;There has been an outpouring of support from all the church. Kyle has not been just Chris and Skeeter’s child but has been the child of this church. He was a blessing to everyone.&uot;