Downers Grove girl visited by rapper Drake in hospital gets 'good, strong heart'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An 11-year-old Downers Grove girl who underwent a heart transplant Monday about a week after rapper Drake surprised her in the hospital was resting Tuesday.

Sofia Sanchez's doctors said the surgery went "extremely well."

"She's been doing everything she's supposed to do. Our next big step is going to be to get her breathing tube out, which should be either later tonight or tomorrow," said Dr. Carl Backer, a cardiovascular surgeon who performed Sofia's transplant at Lurie Children's Hospital.

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"We put it into the chest. I always have this little saying, 'Welcome to your new home,'" said Dr. Backer. "The heart warms up, it gets nourished, and it's always like a little miracle. It knows and it starts beating... It's very emotional, it's very exciting. We're all kind of waiting with baited breath to see if the heart's going to start beating and all of a sudden- boom, it just starts beating."

Sofia, who was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and waited eight weeks for a new heart, went viral when rapper Drake surprised her in the hospital after she did the "In My Feelings" dance challenge down the hospital hallway and the video was posted online.

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"The heart seemed happy in its new home," said Dr. Backer.

Doctors said she should make a full recovery following the 12-hour surgery on Monday.

The heart donor was a young child who also gave their two lungs, two kidneys, pancreas and liver.

In a message on their GoFundMe page, Sofia's family said "Sofia is out of surgery! Surgery went well. She received a really good, strong heart. They will keep her asleep for the remainder of the night. Thank you for your prayers. God is good."

Sofia will have to take medication and monitor her heart moving forward, but doctors expect Sofia to lead an active and healthy life.

A month ago, Sofia 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.

After Sofia's "In My Feelings" video went viral, Drake visited her when he was in Chicago as part of his tour two weekends ago. He said they chatted about Justin Bieber and basketball.

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Sofia 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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