11-year-old Sofia Sanchez made headlines recently after her version of the ‘Kiki challenge’ caught the eye of a fair few people.
Sofia posted a video of her taking part in the challenge, dancing to Drake’s In My Feelings, while she was in the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, US, waiting to have a heart transplant.
As well as posting the video, the young girl was secretly hoping it might encourage Drake himself to come and visit her in hospital.
It emerged how Sofia had two very specific wishes for her birthday.
A blog post shared by the hospital explained:
She has two wishes for her birthday: to get her new heart and to meet her idol, Drake, who is performing Friday and Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
Sofia had already had surgery to help her heart pump, but she remained in hospital while waiting for the transplant.
Amazingly, the Canadian rapper made one of Sofia’s wishes come true. When he heard of her story, he decided to pay her a visit at the hospital.
However, the good news doesn’t end there. While Drake may be one of the biggest artists in the world right now, he’s no heart surgeon.
But, thankfully, the Lurie Children’s Hospital has its own heart surgeons who, after a nine-hour operation, made Sofia’s other wish come true – they gave her a new heart.
A statement from Dr Carl Backer, who performed the surgery, said:
The surgery went extremely well. As with all heart transplants, the next 24-48 hours will be critical, but the heart seemed happy in its new home.
As the Chicago Sun Times reports, 11-year-old Sofia is now recovering in her hospital room.
Recovery is expected to take six to eight weeks for Sofia, who had to have the operation after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an incurable disease which causes heart failure. According to the hospital, she’d been waiting eight weeks for the operation.
A doctor at the hospital, Dr Bradley Marino, spoke about Sofia’s time in hospital and her spectacular birthday experience.
She came in with heart failure, she was so ill. And having this one special day where she doesn’t have to be a sick patient and is just a little girl, she’s a fan of a great artist, it’s pretty special.
Speaking about Drake’s visit, Sofia said:
He’s one of the first wishes I’ve got in a long time… Thanks so much Drake for coming to see me, it means a lot that you came to cheer me up.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Sofia and her family, which has now raised an incredible $47,000.
In a recent update, it said ‘Please also say a prayer for the family who has unselfishly donated a heart for Sofia’.
We wish Sofia a speedy recovery.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.