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‘Sail on’: Johnny Depp pays tribute to fallen ‘Pirates’ fan

(WJW) – Johnny Depp expressed his heartfelt farewell to 11-year-old Kori Stovell, an avid “Pirates of the Caribbean” fan who recently passed away.

Kori battled a heart condition and had undergone two unsuccessful heart transplants. He died on Sunday, the BBC reported.

Depp shared a message on his Instagram Story accompanied by a black and white video of Kori.

In his post, Depp praised the young boy’s resilience and ability to maintain a positive spirit throughout his difficult journey.

“Sail on my fellow captain!! You honored us with your life. You humbled and amazed us with the courage and strength to be able to smile through it all,” Depp wrote.

The actor’s involvement with Kori began in December, when Make-A-Wish reached out to him during the boy’s time in palliative care, PEOPLE reported.

The young Pirates fan was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome — which meant the left side of his heart was underdeveloped at birth. He underwent a heart transplant in 2018 and 2020, but his body rejected both organs, according to the BBC.

Dressed as his iconic character Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp recorded a video for Kori, which was uploaded to the young fan’s YouTube channel, “Kraken The Box.”

Following Kori’s passing, his mother shared an emotional video, expressing gratitude for the support they received.

“He was humbled and overjoyed at so much in life and we ask that people don’t forget him, now he has set sail on his biggest adventure yet,” she told the BBC.

She said Kori’s adventurous spirit was honored with his captain’s hat placed beside him and a pirate flag draped over him during his final moments.