An 11-year-old hospitalized girl who was visited by superstar rapper Drake now has a new lease on life, thanks to a brand new heart transplanted into her on Monday morning.
Sofia Sanchez, who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and was waiting for a heart transplant, filmed a video three days before her 11th birthday asking for two gifts: a visit from Drake and a new heart. After her video went viral, not only did the singer visit her last week, but six days later she found out a new heart was coming her way.
The nine-hour procedure took place successfully on Monday, officials at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago said, and the little girl is in recovery.
"The surgery went extremely well," said Carl Backer, the cardiovascular surgeon who performed the transplant. "As with all heart transplants, the next 24-48 hours will be critical, but the heart seemed happy in its new home."
Recovery will be about six to eight weeks and the family hopes to have Sofia home by Thanksgiving, according to a family friend, who posted the news on a verified GoFundMe page that has raised over $45,000 for Sanchez.
A video of Drake's visit posted by the hospital showed the rapper appearing from behind a curtain, much to his young fan's shock and delight. The two can then be seen taking selfies together and giving each other autographs.
"I didn’t talk for a minute. I was like, is this real or fake?” said Sanchez after the visit. "He’s like, 'It’s me, Drake.' I’m like 'Oh my God!'”
The two bonded over singer Justin Bieber, basketball and Drake’s two dogs, according to a statement from the hospital. The singer himself later posted a picture on Instagram of the two of them captioned, "Me and my love Sofia talking about Bieber and Owls and Basketball."
Sanchez had open-heart surgery in July to connect a ventricular assist device, a mechanical pump that the hospital said served as a "bridge" to her eventual transplant.
A video posted by a cousin on Sunday shows the moment Sanchez found out she was getting a heart.
"My birthday wishes happened -- well, one of them did -- to meet Drake, and that one did happen and it was great, and my other wish is to get a heart -- which is gonna happen soon," Sanchez says in the video. In the next sentence, her mother tells her she's getting that heart.
"I'm getting a heart, mom? Oh my God," she exclaims through tears as she hugs her mother.