HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A teen hospitalized at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood was surprised with a FaceTime call from her idol, pop star Shawn Mendes.
Giovanna Santos spoke with Mendes, who connected with the teen after she couldn’t make it to his concert in Miami on July 28.
“Hi, darling. How are you?” asked Mendes.
“Hi! I’m good,” she said.
The teen has been at the hospital after going into cardiac arrest following a vomiting episode four months ago.
“I was in my house with my friends, and then they left,” she said, “and the minute they left, I started throwing up.”
The teen was later diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which means her heart isn’t pumping blood as it should. She now needs a heart transplant.
“I believe I’m going to get a new heart soon, like, in a few months or weeks,” she said.
Gabriella Santos, the teen’s sister, described her as upbeat and positive, even when she’s struggling to breathe.
“I’m just happy that she’s hopeful, and that she’s strong,” said Gabriella, “and she fights every single day.”
Despite her diagnosis, the teen was determined to celebrate her 16th birthday.
“Her birthday wish was to go to Shawn Mendes’ concert in Miami,” said nurse Sarah Buwalda. “Unfortunately, she’s still living with us here in the hospital, so it was actually her idea to really try to make it happen.”
Buwalda said the hospital came together to help Giovanna achieve her wish.
“We helped create a video that we sent to Shawn Mendes,” said Buwalda, “and then everyone from the CEO down to her bedside nurses, we all reached out, tried to make a connection.”
“Hi, Shawn. I was supposed to go to your concert for my 16th birthday,” Giovanna said in the video for Mendes.
Weeks later, Giovanna got the call from Mendes.
“You’re going to Brazil, right?” asked Giovanna.
“Yeah,” Mendes said.
“Hopefully, I’ll go,” she said.
“OK. I hope you can go, too,” he said.
Giovanna said the experience has motivated her to keep going.
“I love you so much, OK?” said Mendes.
“I love you. Thanks,” said Giovanna.
The teen said she has hope for a new heart and a bright future.
“Keep fighting like you are, and just believe that God has something bigger for you,” said Gabriella.
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