5-Year-Old Gets Wedding Wish Ahead of Heart Surgery

Sophia Chiappalone has had five times as many surgeries than she's had birthdays. She was able to have a mock bridal shoot with her best friend

Five-year-old Sophia Chiappalone, of Meriden, Connecticut, looks like any other little girl, but she has a serious health problem.

"She was born with half of a heart — the whole right side of her heart was missing," explained Kristy Chiappalone, Sophia’s mom.

She’s already had five times as many surgeries than she’s had birthday candles.

"She’s a walking miracle," Chiappalone said. "There is no life expectancy at this time because there’s no reason for her to be alive."

Now she’s in lung failure and needs another procedure. Sophia and her family will travel to Boston Children’s Medical Center to have the risky, open heart surgery.

But before that, she had a special wish.

"That’s all she wanted in the world, was to marry the love of her life," Chiappalone said.

That man is Hunter, her best friend from preschool. When Hunter’s mom Tracy found out, she knew she had to do something.

"I contacted my best friend who’s a photographer about maybe doing a mock bridal shoot and she was game," Tracy Laferriere said.

Sassy Mouth Photography did the shoot. Bliss Bridal shop in Cheshire donated Sophia’s gowns. With their help, the moms pulled off a beautiful wedding photo shoot.

"That was a happiness that I have not seen from Sophia in so long," Chiappalone said.

Sophia’s heart may not be healthy, but it’s clear, her heart is full of love.

"I hope that Sophia is going to live a long life and marry Hunter when she’s 25," Chiappalone said. "But my hope for the future is that Sophia stays happy and healthy as long as her body can handle." 

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