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Local News

Downers Grove girl receives new heart

Sofia Sanchez recently celebrated 11th birthday with visit from rapper Drake

Rapper Drake spends time with Downers Grove resident Sofia Sanchez, 11, on Aug. 20 at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Sofia, who has cardiomyopathy, received a new heart Aug. 27.
Rapper Drake spends time with Downers Grove resident Sofia Sanchez, 11, on Aug. 20 at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Sofia, who has cardiomyopathy, received a new heart Aug. 27.

DOWNERS GROVE – Birthday wishes keep coming true for 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez.

The Downers Grove resident who received a visit Aug. 20 from rap star Drake received a new heart Aug. 27. The extensive surgery was a success.

"Surgery went well. She received a really good, strong heart," an update on Sofia's GoFundMe page stated. "They will keep her asleep for the remainder of the night. Thank you for your prayers. God is good."

Sofia, a student at Kingsley Elementary School in Downers Grove, has cardiomyopathy, an incurable disease that causes heart failure.

She received the good news about her new heart Aug. 26. A Facebook video of her receiving the news has been viewed more than 53,000 times.

"I'm getting a heart, Mom? Oh my god," Sofia said as she begins to cry and hugs her mother.

The news also was announced on the GoFundMe page.

“Sofia is getting a heart,” an Aug. 26 update stated. “The [Sanchezes'] prayers are being answered. Surgery is scheduled for early tomorrow morning. Please say your prayers for Sofia and her doctors that everything goes smoothly.”

Sofia's recovery is expected to last a few weeks. She will then spend an additional six to eight weeks at the Ronald McDonald House. Her family’s hope is to have her home by Thanksgiving, according to the update.

“Please also say a prayer for the family who has unselfishly donated a heart for Sofia,” the update stated.

The page has raised more than $47,850, and donations are still being accepted.

The news came six days after Sofia received her first birthday wish: a visit from Drake.

Drake, who was in town for his concert at the United Center, shocked Sofia when he walked into her room at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

His visit came a few days after a video of Sofia performing the popular dance moves to his hit song “In My Feelings” accompanied a request that the performer visit her.

“You asked me to come, and I’m here,” Drake said after a stunned Sofia screamed, “Oh my God.”

Sofia's 11th birthday was Aug. 18. She made the video after her cousin Joshua Virgen helped her learn the Kiki Challenge dance moves.

Drake’s representatives contacted members of the Sanchez family shortly after Sofia made the video asking the rapper to visit her for her birthday.

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How to help

Visit Sofia Sanchez's GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/stay-strong-sofia.

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