CBS talk show, hotel help family of baby with heart defect

The CBS show "The Talk" and ATMA Hotel group gave a surprise gift to a 24-year-old Wilson mother whose daughter needs a heart transplant and whose husband is working in Afghanistan.

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WILSON, N.C. — A CBS talk show helped Wilson parents hoping to find a heart transplant for their 1-year-old daughter.

A segment on "The Talk" Friday afternoon featured 24-year-old mother Crystal Darak, her husband Jayson, and their daughter Korah, who was born with a heart defect.

"Her first open heart surgery was when she was seven days old. She had her second open heart surgery in 2010," Darak said on "The Talk."

Doctors say they have done all they can surgically for Korah, and she needs a new heart. She is being cared for at Duke University Hospital in Durham.

Money is tight for the family as Darak lives alone in Wilson while her husband works as a contractor in Afghanistan. Once a Marine sergeant, he left the Corps when his daughter was born. He needs to keep working to support the family.

Darak makes a 3-hour round trip to visit Korah six days a week.

"My typical day is to get up and head up there and be there for her and rock her to sleep. Then I'll come home, go back to bed and repeat," Darak said.

"The Talk" producers arranged for the ATMA Hotel group to donate a free, six-month stay for Darak at the Hampton Inn and Suites of Chapel Hill/Durham on Farrington Road. Sales manager Barbara Leedy said the donation is valued at $30,000.

It will allow Darak to stay close to Korah and save time, gas money and hotel costs.

Leedy said the Hampton Inn Suites regularly works with the SECU Family and Ronald McDonald House to house the families of patients at UNC and Duke hospitals, so they were ready and willing to help the Dakar family.



Anne Johnson, Web Editor

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