Sabrina Puig is an 8 year old with a special condition: She was born with only half a heart. When the opportunity arose for the young girl to see Pope Francis on Sunday during his visit to Mexico, she stunned everyone by breaking through security to give him a hug.
Sabrina was with her mother, Karla Robles, in a crowd outside Mexico City’s apostolic nunciature, according to the Catholic News Agency. As soon as the pope left the building, the hopeful crowd rushed towards him. It was then that Sabrina saw her opportunity and ran to Pope Francis.
The eager girl managed to pass through the security fence surrounding the apostolic nunciature. She went right up to Pope Francis and gave him an exuberant hug, according to the report.
Robles explained the moment to 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.”
Sabrina has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a disability that does not allow one side of the heart to develop. She has already had four surgeries and is dependent upon doctors to continue to live.
The Kardias Foundation, an organization that cares for children with heart disease, has greatly assisted Sabrina and her family. The foundation helped Sabrina and her family to see the pope that day; they were there with nine other children and their parents, the report states.
Robles said: “We were fortunate to be in front of the door, where they seated us. 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.”
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The happy mother went on to describe it as “a memory that will last a lifetime.”
Sadly, so many children born with disabilities similar to Sabrina’s are not given the opportunities she has. Instead, doctors pressure mothers to abort their baby with disabilities, rather than cherish the precious life given to them. Pope Francis has addressed this issue as a “throw-away culture” problem.
“We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed ‘the throwaway culture,’” Francis said in 2014.“For example, it is frightful even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.”
Sabrina’s courageous story is a beautiful reminder of the love that all children have to offer.