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March 12, 2000-April 16, 2017

Dusty Ray Hernandez, 17, passed away from cystic fibrosis Sunday, April 16, 2017, at UNC Children's Hospital.

Dusty was born March 12, 2000, in Smithfield. He was the son of the late Nikki Ferrell Hernandez and the late Dusty Hernandez (father).

In his final days, he was surrounded by family, friends and caregivers, who loved him deeply. He made a remarkable impact on many people's lives.

Dusty's life was far too short, but he made the most of the time he had. He was faced with many challenges, each of which he navigated with his sharp wit and sense of humor, his love of all foods from beyond the walls of the hospital and the occasional eye roll.

He was always true to himself and honest to a fault with others. He loved the color purple. He had beautiful eyes, a smile that could melt your heart and a hug that let you know how much he cared for and appreciated you.

Through all of his struggles, he was exceptionally strong, and truly demonstrated the amazing unstoppable power of the human spirit. He will be missed greatly by all those who loved him.

Dusty left behind many loving caregivers at UNC Children's Hospital. His love extended to nurses, teachers, child life specialists, social workers and respiratory therapists throughout the children's hospital, but especially to the nurses on 6 Children's. Dusty had a special place in his heart for Dr. Henry and the many other pulmonologists and palliative care doctors and nurse practitioners who cared for him throughout his life.

Dusty is survived by his dedicated and loving grandparents, Ray and Mary Ferrell; his brothers, Christian Hernandez and Cody Ferrell; his stepfather, Amado Hernandez; his friend and neighbor, Shannon Fulghum, whom he called his mother on earth; and his dear lifelong friend, Summer Fulghum.

There will be a memorial service at Old Waynesborough Park (in the back near the water) in Goldsboro at 11:30 a.m. Thursday April 20, 2017.


Published in Obituaries on April 19, 2017 12:12 PM