11-year-old girl visited by rapper Drake at the hospital gets heart transplant

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Girl, 11, visited by rapper Drake at Lurie hospital gets heart transplant
Girl, 11, visited by rapper Drake at Lurie hospital gets heart transplant. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 5 a.m. on August 28, 2018.

CHICAGO (WPVI) -- An 11-year-old patient at Lurie Children's Hospital who was surprised last week with a visit by rapper Drake underwent a heart transplant on Monday.

Sofia Sanchez, of Downers Grove, captured Drake's attention when she recorded a video for the "In My Feelings" Challenge, which featured her walking through the hospital hallway to Drake's popular song.

RELATED: Drake visits young heart patient in Chicago after she posts 'Kiki Challenge' video

A young heart patient from suburban Downers Grove is hoping to catch her favorite artist's attention with her version of the "In My Feelings" challenge.

She came out of 12-hour surgery at about 6 p.m. The heart arrived via medical vehicle just after noon.

"The surgery went extremely well. As with all heart transplants, the next 24-48 hours will be critical, but the heart seemed happy in its new home," said Dr. Carl Backer, a cardiovascular surgeon who performed Sofia's transplant. He also was part of the hospital's first transplant team 30 years ago.

Sofia, who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, has been waiting for a new heart for the last eight weeks. A month 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.

The surgery has a 90 percent success rate. She will have to take medication and monitor her heart moving forward, but doctors expect Sofia to lead an active and healthy life.

Sofia's "In My Feelings" video went viral and the rap star visited her when he was in Chicago as part of his tour last weekend. He said they chatted about Justin Bieber and basketball.

Sofia had been waiting for a heart transplant and learned Sunday that she was getting a new heart. Her mother delivered the news to her in video that was posted on Facebook.

"I'm getting a heart! Oh my God!" Sofia squealed in the video.


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