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5-year-old marries best friend ahead of open-heart surgery

5-year-old wedding


5-year-old marries best friend ahead of open-heart surgery

A little girl who was born with a life-threatening heart condition saw a big wish come true recently when she was able to “marry” her best friend in a special playground ceremony.

According to Yahoo, Sophia Elyssa Chiappalone, of Connecticut, has already undergone two open-heart surgeries and several other procedures, and had made the special request ahead of a third surgery, which is scheduled for January at Boston Children’s Medical Center.

On October 23, Sophia and her best friend, Hunter, who she met in preschool, joined together on a playground and exchanged “vows” while photographer Marisa Balletti-Lavoie of Sassy Mouth Photo captured the precious images. The idea came from the pint-sized bride herself and was happily agreed to by Hunter and his mom.

Sophia was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, which is a genetic heart defect involving four different issues, shortly after her birth. Sophia’s mother, Kristy Somerset-Chiappalone, started the “Sophia Elyssa Chiappalone the beautiful baby with a broken heart” Facebook page and explained that her daughter’s case is considered severe and will require several open-heart procedures before it is completely repaired. The condition is also likely to shorten her lifespan, and she will need a heart and lung transplant in the future.

She’s a walking miracle,” Somerset-Chiappalone told NBC Connecticut. “There is no life expectancy at this time because there’s no reason for her to be alive.”

Balletti-Lavoie says she was asked to do the photo shoot by Hunter’s mom, who started a GoFundMe page to help Somerset-Chiappalone with medical expenses and transportation costs.

See more photos here.

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