Mother grieves for son who died in Fayetteville fire, donates his heart
Posted May 23, 2014
Latonya DeBerry’s life will never be the same.
She was visiting a friend across the parking lot of her duplex on Old Shaw Road in Fayetteville early Thursday when she looked back to see smoke and fire filling her home. Six of her children were inside, and her boyfriend, Robert Edmond Jr., was desperately trying to get them out.
“He went back in to get the rest of the kids, and then he bumped into my daughter, Carnise,” DeBerry said. “He grabbed her out, but she fell out of his arms, and that’s when he tried to go back in there to find Zion.”
Five-year-old Zion Lilly didn't make it. He died at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
“He was just a happy kid,” DeBerry said. “He loved his bicycle. He loved air fresheners to put on his bicycle. He loved football. He was just a good kid."
At the hospital, DeBerry was told of a little boy in need of a heart. She was asked if she would be willing to donate Zion’s.
"I thought about it, and it was on my heart to let him go to help another child. So my baby…could live on to help another child with his heart.”
While DeBerry grieves for her son, she’s comforted to know he could help another child.
“It’s going to be hard because he was my angel,” she said.