A birthday wish came true for 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez when Canadian rap star Drake visited her in Chicago as she was waiting for a heart transplant, the hospital said.
"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!'”
According to a statement from Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, "The two bonded over Justin Bieber, basketball and Drake’s two dogs. Then they took selfies, exchanged autographs and together they sang his hit song, 'God’s Plan,' Sofia’s favorite."
"Thank you Drake for coming to see me, it means a lot for you to come and cheer me up," Sanchez said in the statement.
The young girl has been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that often leads to heart failure and need for a heart transplant to survive, according to the hospital. She had open heart surgery to connect a VAD, or ventricular assist device, which is a mechanical pump that helps support the heart and blood flow in people with heart failure. But she is still waiting for a new heart.
Three days before Sanchez’ birthday in mid-August, the hospital shot a video of Sanchez doing the viral Kiki dance challenge with her cousin in the hospital hallway. She also taped a video message from her hospital bed asking Drake to visit her. The rapper was scheduled to perform on her birthday at the United Center in Chicago.
Sofia Sanchez, from Downers Grove, will be 11 on August 18 and has been waiting for a new heart at Lurie Children’s for the past several weeks. She has two wishes for her birthday, to get her new heart and to meet her idol, Drake (@champagnepapi), who is performing Friday and Saturday at the United Center. . . . In hopes of meeting him, she and her cousin performed the KiKi Dance down the hospital hallway tethered to her IV pump and taped a video message from her hospital bed asking him to visit her at Lurie Children’s. . . . Sofia was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that often leads to heart failure and need for heart transplantation in order to survive. Three weeks ago, she underwent open heart surgery in order to connect a VAD (ventricular assist device), which is a mechanical pump that helps support the heart and blood flow in people with heart failure. Most often, it serves as a bridge to heart transplantation. Each year Lurie Children’s performs only four VADs. . . . In July, Lurie Children’s heart transplant team performed their 300th heart transplant and the next heart recipient will be #305. Lurie Children’s heart transplant team has performed 22 heart transplants so far this year. It has one of the largest pediatric heart transplant programs in the Midwest and was recently ranked the 3rd best Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In the last several years, Lurie Children’s has recruited some of the top pediatric heart transplant specialists in the country. #drake #drakechallenge #kikichallenge #inmyfeelings #all4your1
"Having this one special day where she doesn’t have to be a sick patient, it’s just a little girl who’s a fan of a great artist, is pretty special," said Lurie Hospital Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Bradley Marino.