5-year-old 'marries' love of her life 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. 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, Yahoo reported.

On Oct. 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.

Read more at FOXNews.com.

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