There’s an old truism that you really cannot tell what’s happening with another person just by looking at them, and it certainly holds true for adorable five-year-old Sophia Chiappalone of Connecticut. If you just saw Sophia or her recent charming photos, you’d think the tiny beauty had not a care in the world, and could easily grow up to be the next supermodel with her photogenic good looks.
But you’d be very wrong.
Sophia was born with a genetic defect that left her heart and pulmonary arteries disconnected, a condition called DiGeorge syndrome, which is caused by a chromosomal abnormality. If you’re wondering how the young child is still alive with such a condition, you’re not alone, because Sophia is, frankly, a “walking miracle,” according to her mom.
“There is no life expectancy at this time because there’s no reason for her to be alive,” her mother Kristy Somerset-Chiappalone told a local Connecticut NBC affiliate.
The young child has already had and will continue to need, surgeries throughout her life to stay on top of the troubling condition that doctors expected would end her time on Earth before she was two years old. Now facing a fourth open-heart surgery, the little girl who’s already been through so much had just one request: to “marry” the love of her life, six-year-old Hunter Laferriere.
The two kids are bosom buddies and like to play Mario together, Kristy told the station. So when she asked for the “marriage,” her mom obliged by setting up an adorable photo shoot with the two kids and a professional photographer, complete with wedding dress, veil, and bouquet for Sophia.
The resulting photo series is truly magical, and not surprisingly, has gone viral on social media. With a smile that could light up the darkest room, little Sophia’s joy comes bursting through on every picture, and she is so photogenic, she cannot take a bad picture, looking beautiful even at just five years old.
Mostly, the genuine affection of the two youngsters is obvious and very, very precious. The shoot was set up just as the fall leaves were turning in Connecticut, and they provide a stunning backdrop for the color and black-and-white photos.
“He’d do anything to make her happy. She always agrees to play Mario with him, so I think he’d happily marry her. They have a chemistry that’s magnetic, it’s adorable to watch,” Hunter’s mom Tracy told Cosmopolitan.com of the junior couple’s “nuptials.”
“That’s all she wanted in the world, was to marry the love of her life,” mom Kristy said. And we all sincerely hope that someday, she really will.
For her mother, the shoot was, of course, bittersweet, knowing she may never see her little girl grow up at all, let alone reach an age where she could actually get married.
“I hope that Sophia is going to live a long life and marry Hunter when she’s 25. But my hope for the future is that Sophia stays happy and healthy as long as her body can handle [it],” Kristy told NBC.
Meanwhile, these photos will be an amazing testament to a little girl with the heart of a lion and the courage of one to boot. Godspeed, Sophia, as you undergo your open-heart surgery, may the force be with you, now and always.
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