Sophia Campa-Peters A Nine-year-old Girl is set to undergo brain surgery at Boston’s Children Hospital. She arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 22, traveling from her hometown of Brownfield, Texas. Her surgery is scheduled for Friday, January 26.
On Tuesday, January 23, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent a special message to Campa-Peters from President Donald Trump. Sanders explained that President Trump heard about Campa-Peters request for prayers and he wanted to send warm wishes her way. Additionally, the President has asked that others keep Campa-Peters in their prayers.
Campa-Peters has had health issues since she was just 6 months old. After being misdiagnosed numerous times and suffering several strokes, doctors have confirmed that Campa-Peters suffers from symptoms very similar to those associated with a rare disease called Moyamoya.
Here is what you need to know:
1. President Trump Has Asked People to Pray for Sophia After Learning About Her Prayer Chain
“I want God to be bombarded by prayers on January 24th,” Sophia Campa-Peters told Lonestar 99.5.
President Trump made sure to have Sanders address Campa-Peters’ condition, upcoming surgery, and prayer chain during a daily media briefing on Tuesday, January 23. President Trump heard about a prayer chain request that Campa-Peters made and wanted to send the child his well-wishes.
“This Friday, Sophia will undergo brain surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and she has one request: She has asked the entire world come together and pray for her on the day of her surgery. We want to make sure she gets that and far exceeds it,” Sanders said, before sharing a message for Campa-Peters.
“[President Trump] told me to tell you to keep fighting, to never give up, keep inspiring us all, and never, ever lose faith in God,” Sanders added. The White House has endorsed a petition that was set up by Texas Congressman Jodey C. Arrington in hopes of sending more prayers to Campa-Peters.
“She has requested that the world pray for her ahead of the operation. Please join me in praying for her physician as he operates and for miraculous healing as she recovers so that she would experience life for years to come,” the petition description reads, in part. Huckabee tweeted out a link to the petition and the message was retweeted by the president.
As of 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, the petition had received 4,945 signatures, nearly halfway to their goal of 10,000.
“With only two weeks left until Sophia’s brain surgery, she has asked that the entire world come together and pray for her on the day of the surgery! Share her request and story on every social media site you can and ask everyone to make her wish come true to have the world pray for her on January [26th],” reads a message on a website dedicated to Campa-Peters.
The Campa-Peters family recently posted the following message, thanking people for their support.
You can watch Sophia Campa-Peters’ interview with Lonestar 99.5 in the video below.
2. Campa-Peters Is Scheduled to Undergo Brain Surgery in Boston on Friday, January 26
Campa-Peters is preparing to undergo her second brain surgery in one year. Her mom, Karen, and her dad, Scott, set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise enough funds to be able to travel to Boston so that she could receive specialized care. The Campa-Peters family hoped to raise $4,000, but have raised close to $9,000 since beginning the campaign.
Doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital will perform a revascularization surgery on Campa-Peters on Friday, January 26. The purpose of the surgery is to “help supply blood to the at risk areas in Sophia’s brain.” The surgery is not expected to “cure” Campa-Peters, nor will it heal any previously damaged brain tissue, but “it may help salvage remaining healthy tissue and hopefully prolong Sophia’s life.”
The surgery, which was originally scheduled for September, was rescheduled from January 24 to January 26, according to an update Campa-Peters’ website.
“Sophia’s surgery has been moved to Friday January 26th! It was postponed due to more urgent cases taking priority in the scheduling. Sophia says she is okay with the postponement as it gives her more time to try different Boston pizzas,” reads the update, in part.
3. She Has Several Symptoms Associated With a Disease Called Moyamoya
Campa-Peters has been going to doctor’s appointments frequently since she was just 6 months old. Doctors previously told her parents that she wouldn’t live to see her second birthday — but she is now 9 years old and she is still fighting. Over the years, Campa-Peters has showcased a wide variety of symptoms including “physical difficulties, loss of milestones, speech, digestive, neurological, visual, and memory issues,” according to her website.
It wasn’t until she was hospitalized in Texas after suffering a stroke that doctors diagnosed her with a rare disease called Moyamoya. However, a different group of doctors in Dallas, Texas, don’t believe that she has the disease. They believe that she has “unknown genetic vasculopathy.” That “diagnosis” has very similar symptoms to Moyamoya, however.
You can read a description of the disease below.
“Moyamoya disease is a rare, progressive blood vessel (vascular) disorder in which the carotid artery in the skull becomes blocked or narrowed, reducing blood flow to your brain. Tiny blood vessels then open up at the base of the brain in an attempt to supply the brain with blood. The word “moyamoya” means ‘puff of smoke’ in Japanese, a term describing the appearance of this cluster of tiny blood vessels. These tiny clusters of blood vessels cannot supply the necessary blood and oxygen to the brain, resulting in temporary or permanent brain injury,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Medications, such as blood thinners, and surgery are two of the most common forms of treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with Moyamoya. There is no cure for the disease — and there is no cure for what Campa-Peters is suffering from, either.
4. She Had Several Strokes in 2015 & Underwent Dural Revascularization Surgery in February 2017
The year 2015 was particularly tough for the Campa-Peters family. Her mom goes into detail about the very first time that she witnessed her daughter have a stroke. The frightening moments described by Karen Campa-Peters can be read below.
“And then it began…. Her tiny voice said ‘Hey, I can’t make a fist.’ I didn’t quite understand. Then the panic started ‘Mommy! I…I can’t make a fist! Mommy!’ I sat up and saw her holding her left hand with her right. ‘Mommy help me! What’s wrong with my….,’ and then the screaming started. I didn’t understand what was happening, I was trying to hold her, comfort her, but she started panicking and got off the bed screaming ‘No, no…what is happening! Help me mommy, I think I’m dying!’ More screaming. ‘Mommy help me I think I’m dying help me!’”
Karen Campa-Peters has shared several videos of her daughter, some just before she had a stroke, and even one during a stroke (below).
Please be advised, the below video may be disturbing for some viewers.
After being rushed to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas, doctors felt that Campa-Peters needed to be treated by specialists more familiar with her disease. She was airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Half of her body had been paralyzed following the stroke that she suffered, but doctors decided against surgery.
“They decided not to perform the surgery since they couldn’t explain what was happening. It became a concern that if they did open up her brain the shock could force the brain to do what the images showed it should be doing…just be dead tissue.”
Instead, Campa-Peters was moved from the ICU to neurology to be monitored. She eventually went to rehab, where she stayed for “many weeks,” according to her website.
Campa-Peters was eventually discharged and her family sought follow-up appointments at Cook Children’s Hospital in Dallas. She suffered more strokes around the holidays in 2016, and underwent dural revascularization surgery on February 6, 2017.
“There was an chance that she would not survive the surgery without a stroke possibly killing or permanently paralyzing her. Once again this little girl came through miraculously. One of the neurosurgeons stated, ‘This little girl has God on her side.’”
According to Campa-Peters’ website, her upcoming surgery in Boston poses the same risks.
5. She Has Remained Positive & Is Determined to Do all of the Things That Doctors Told Her She Wouldn’t Be Able to Do
Campa-Peters has a great attitude despite being in and out of the hospital and having these scary strokes. She has a great sense of humor, which her mom highlights in various blog posts on her website.
“Sophia became very upset after so much time of listening to dozens of doctors talk about the things she would never be able to do again. She started to speak up and at one point told the doctors ‘If you have nothing positive to say while you’re here, then discuss everything in the hallway, because I can hear you. If you’re only going to talk about what I can’t do then I don’t want to hear it. Why don’t you let me try to walk. Let me try to move. Let me get out of this bed. Unhook me from all this equipment and please just let me try,’” her mom recalled.
After being left paralyzed on one side, Campa-Peters was determined to prove her doctors wrong.
“She set three goals for herself. For her leg, she wanted to run again. For the left arm, be able to touch each fingertip with her thumb. And for her paralyzed face, she wanted to say a tongue twister,” Karen Campa-Peters writes.
It didn’t take long for Campa-Peters to stand and she was even able to “take a few steps with a support belt.” Her mom called her progress “miraculous.”