Local News

Wilson baby dies while awaiting heart transplant

Posted May 21, 2011 2:27 p.m. EDT
Updated May 21, 2011 5:42 p.m. EDT

— A 1-year-old baby girl from Wilson whose search for a new heart gained national attention died this week.

Korah Jayde Darak, who was born with a heart defect, died Tuesday at Duke University Hospital in Durham.

Family friends said more than 1,000 people were expected to attend a visitation in Wilson Friday evening and even more at a funeral service Saturday morning.

Korah had been waiting for a heart transplant, which doctors said was the only medical treatment left after two open-heart surgeries.

Her story was a Mothers Day feature on the CBS show "The Talk," which arranged a free six-month stay at a hotel near Duke Hospital for her mother.

"In the face of such overwhelming obstacles, Korah fought her illness and thrived under the most difficult of circumstances," her obituary stated. "Her bright, beautiful eyes lit up even the darkest of days. She was truly her mother’s 'princess' and her daddy’s 'little rock star.' She leaves behind a legacy of fighting against all odds and a never-give-up spirit."

Her mother, 24-year-old Crystal Darak, made a three-hour round trip from Wilson to visit Korah in Durham six days a week. Her father, Jayson Darack, left the Marine Corps when she was born but returned to work as a contractor in Afghanistan to support the family.