A 5-year-old girl with a broken heart “married” her best friend before her fourth open-heart surgery.
“She is scheduled for another open heart surgery and this was her ‘wish,’ you know, just in case,” family friend Wendy Cannella told WFLA.
Sophia Chiappalone of Meriden, Connecticut has beat the odds in her five years of life. Doctors told the family she wouldn’t live past 2. Now, ahead of her fourth open-heart surgery in January, the Sophia’s mom, Kristy Somerset-Chiappalone, said she’s willing to do just about anything to see her smile.
“It became apparent that her heart wasn’t looking as well as they would like and we knew she needed treatment,” Somerset-Chiappalone told ABC News. “So I asked Sophia, ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to go to an indoor water park? Do you want to go on a shopping spree, maybe get some toys?’ And she said she wanted to be a princess and marry Hunter.”
Sophia and Hunter met when they were 3 years old and have been best friends ever since.
Hunter’s mom quickly agreed to arrange a photo shoot of the two kids. Sassy Mouth photographer Marisa Balletti-Lavoie snapped photos of the adorable pair. Sophia’s dress and veil were donated by Bliss Bridal.
“I was so honored and excited to be the one to document the big day!!” wrote Balletti-Lavoie. “It was my pleasure to help make your dream come true sweetheart!”
Somerset-Chiappalone said it was a beautiful but difficult experience to get through.
“I was trying so hard to be strong,” she admitted. “I’m trying to be strong for Sophia. In reality, she’s slipping into heart failure more and more, and this might be the only time I ever see her in a wedding dress. That was going through my head.”
However, she added that she wishes that Sophia “keeps her fighting spirit. And I hope she never loses her quality of life … no matter what the end result is.”