Eight-year- old Sabrina Puig was filled with excitement after she hugged Pope Francis on Sunday during his visit to Mexico City.
The young girl with a rare heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome ran to meet the Pope when he was passing by and gave him a tight bear hug.
Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. It occurs when a child’s heart doesn’t form correctly during the critical period of prenatal development which causes the left heart to be severely underdeveloped.
Sabrina and her mother, Karla Robles, along with thousands of others, waited just behind the crowd barrier outside the apostolic nunciature in Mexico City during the Pope’s visit on Sunday.
Just as he finished his business at the apostolic nunciature the crowd began to push forward to touch or shake hands with the Holy Father. Just at that time the little girl jumped at the chance.
“Then she began to run towards the Pope,” her mother said.
The young girl made her way through the security fence, ran towards Pope Francis and hugged him forcefully.
Karla sharing her daughter’s excitement told CNA “I was very excited; Sabrina told me ‘I hugged him! I hugged him!’ She was very happy. She slept with a rosary distributed to those who were near the Pope. She was even asking why the Pope had to live in Rome.”
Speaking of her daughter’s battle with the diseases, according to CNA she said, “She has had four operations and depends on the intervention of doctors to survive.”
She said Sabrina can do just about anything her mates do, but she tires more quickly because of her condition. “She also can’t do much exercise,” Karla said.
The Kardias foundation committed to helping out children with congenital heart disease has been of immense help to Sabrina. Well, thanks to the foundation, both Mother and daughter and about 9 other kids with their parents were given the opportunity to wait for the Pope outside the nunciature.
“We were fortunate to be in front of the door, where they seated us,” Karla said. “I did not know it, but the yellow section was for the sick. The Pope knew that they needed his greeting and blessing, I think that’s why he came.”
Karla said that Sabrina’s meeting with Pope Francis has greatly improved her Catholic faith. She is “very proud to have had this opportunity,” she added.