Five-year-old Sophia Chiappalone was born with a heart condition. Born with a heart defect, the preschooler has endured three open-heart surgeries. Another one scheduled for mid-November.
But before that procedure takes place, she had made a wish to her mom, Kristy Somerset-Chiappalone—the little girl wanted to marry her childhood sweetheart, 6-year-old Hunter Laferriere.
Kristy didn’t keep this dream a secret. She told Hunter’s mom, Tracy, who then told her son, who accepted the girl’s roundabout proposal.
To make Sophia’s dream a reality, Tracy got her best friend and photographer, Marisa Balletti-Lavoie to capture the special event. The mock nuptial has all the trappings of a grown-up wedding photo shoot; Sophia is wearing a beautiful gown and carrying a bouquet of fresh flowers, and the kids pose together like a couple in love, exchanging kisses on the cheek. But, Marisa didn’t forget their age and also shows them playing on a playground and throwing leaves at one another.
Sophia has had to fight for her life from the day she was born. She has a genetic defect where there’s no connection between her heart and pulmonary arteries, which ensures that blood flows to the lungs. Just one day after she was born, she had open-heart surgery; the procedure is something she’ll have to have throughout her life.
The photo shoot was bittersweet for Sophia’s mom.
Sophia’s family is currently raising money for her past and future treatments via GoFundMe.