Age 5 Girl with No Life Expectancy ‘Marries’ Best Friend Before Open-Heart Surgery

October 29, 2017
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Sophia Elyssa Chiappalone has what could be described as a “broken heart.” Yet, her images in a mock bridal photography shoot clearly display her happy spirit.

Age 5 Girl with No Life Expectancy ‘Marries’ Best Friend Before Open-Heart Surgery

Sophia’s broken heart was the reason that she appeared as a beautiful bride, not despite of it. And she is not one of those young women with relationship problems or child bride about to entering marriage.

Sophia is 5 years old, and this “broken heart” was with her from the start.
June 2012, her mom, Kristy Somerset-Chiappalone, gave birth to her. Sophia was born at 38 weeks, which comparing to her two older sisters was a longer gestational age.

Unfortunately, both the umbilical cord and Sophia were diagnosed with complications. Miraculously, they did not result in death even though they were potentially fatal. However, when a cardiologist requested a private meeting with Sophia’s parents to discuss the results of an echocardiogram, Chiappalone’s stomach dropped. She knew something was not right.
Her daughter’s heart lost its right half, and no amount of surgeries could change the doctor’s answer to the dreaded question.
Chiappalone had to ask if her heart condition would shorten her daughter’s. The doctor answered that, yes, she would have a shorter lifespan.

For a mother, this level of information would be devastating for a mother to hear, but Chiappalone was able to view that conversation with gratitude for the time they have together, though.
“She’s a walking miracle. There is no life expectancy at this time because there’s no reason for her to be alive,” she told WVIT.

Sophia’s family wanted to make sure she had the chance to really live before yet another open heart surgery. And, the 5-year-old girl’s wish was to get married to her best friend, Hunter.

She received her mother full support in this, writing in a Facebook post, “Most people wait a lifetime for someone who wouldn’t stand by them through such illness. She met a best friend and love of her life at 3, who does?” The mother continued “You know they say marry your best friend, it just doesn’t usually happen before 1st grade!”
Hunter’s mother contacted her photographer friend to take photos of the cutest mock bride and groom couple on their “wedding day.” She was happy to help making Sophia’s wish come true.

On her Sassy Mouth Photography Facebook page, Marisa Balletti-Lavoie, the photographer, wrote “Sophia Elyssa Chiappalone the beautiful baby with a broken heart had a beautiful little wish…I was so honored and excited to be the one to document the big day!!”
It is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking seeing this adorable photo shoot. It’s such a delight to see such a lovely friendship between Hunter and Sophia.
Chiappalone was pleased with the results. “It was pure innocence in the purest form.” She wrote on Facebook.

Though the story behind was shattering, no matter how beautiful the photos were, Sophia still looks full of love, despite having only half a heart.

A new study has surprised the researchers by uncovering that it is parents with four or more kids who are happiest. Bet you’re thinking the perfect number is two, or maybe even none. Nope, you’re way off. Rebel chats to some big-family matriarchs to see if this is really the case.

Parents With Four Or More Kids Are The Happiest, According To Research

Dr. Bronwyn Harman, of the psychology and social science school at Edith Cowan University, spent five years studying what types of families are the happiest, and the results surprised even her.

The happiest parents are – “drumroll, please” – parents with four or more children. Weird, isn’t it? Let’s look at why having more kids make you happier?

It is pointed out by the research that the efforts spent into growing the family directly related to parental happiness.
Dr. Harman said “[The parents] usually say they always wanted a large family, it was planned that way, and it was a lifestyle they’d chosen”.

The findings are based on resilience, social support, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Knowing a couple of families with a truckload of kids, like me, I can see how things work out.
– Resilience: There is simply no time for pandering to silliness when there are so many kids to wrangle;
– Social support: Strength in numbers, when you have a large family, you also have yourselves a mini-community;
– Self-esteem: There is a certain self-esteem coming from kids with large families. It could be the fact that they are brave enough to try new things, because they would get left behind if they don’t.

Having those three things functioning well in your everyday life provides the life satisfaction without too much effort, really. Five kids is a winning number for the Harbord family.
Heidi and Paul have five gorgeous children and would not change a thing.
“Yep, I would believe that research, damn straight we are happy.” Heidi stated. “We are each other’s entertainment, honestly, there is never a dull moment!”
Heidi and Paul are a parenting team to be reckoned with, and good friend of mine, and they are nailing this gig. The parents are happy, kids are happy and the happiness fills the air Ranch Harbord.

The foundation of their success as a family is simply love and respect. Heidi and Paul adore each other, trusting each other and have each other’s backs – and the kids know and feel it, too. It’s a beautiful thing everyone the family respects each other, the children have each other’s backs in the same way their parents do.
Of course, life with five kids may go wild sometimes – but Heidi and Paul embrace that wildness and only tame it when it is required.
“You have to pick your battles, the kids know there are boundaries, and of course they push, but we can’t nag about every little thing or we’d be nagging all day.” Heidi explained. ” When you have so many kids, you just have to get on with things.”

She further explained “Being so busy means there is simply no time to sweat the small stuff, and when you aren’t worrying about small insignificant stuff, of course it makes sense that you’ll be happier”.

As for the kids “There is also no time to indulge the nonsense,” said Heidi. And I completely understand what she was saying – the Harbord children are amazingly resilient. Their kind of confidence can only come from being brave enough to try everything. And they do – even the youngest don’t let their age or size limit them, you can bet that they are riding horses, motorbikes, climbing, holding snakes … if everyone else is doing the same!
“If you don’t keep up you get left behind,” Heidi explained.

Are there any downsides? Things must not be good all of the time, right?

“The price!” Heidi pointed out. “Indulging in fun things like going to theme parks, travelling, eating out, etc., it gets pretty costly when you have so many bums on seats”.
Another beautiful mamma of five, Mary Gorgens, agrees. “Financially it can be tough, but we live a lifestyle that affords us having a larger family. Not over indulgent or fancy but still able to give them their needs and wants when we can afford it” She said, “We have a mortgage and all the bills, etc. but we live happily with what we have and the kids know no different”.
She continued “Time pressures are probably the other thing. Sometimes you feel like you may not be giving them all equal attention but we try to fit in one-on-one time with each of them at different times. There’s a happiness in knowing that they seem to get this is our life and love it because it’s their home and happy place. And have each other.”
Dr Harman’s research showed that although there might be more chaos and expenses in larger families in comparison to smaller ones, things are balanced by the amount of joy received from having more children.

So what is the secret behind all this?
Mary says that consistency is the key for keeping the wheels turning at their place.
She said “Each family probably has their own ways and we always joke we do things differently to a lot of others”.
“We kind of beat to our own drum. But it works for us. Simon and I both try to be on the same page and help each other to get through each day with our sanity somewhat still in check. Sometimes it goes to hell but I think no matter what, the kids just want to know they are loved and protected, so even if things didn’t go perfectly well that day, they go to bed knowing all is well and we try again tomorrow.”

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