Open-Heart Surgery for Stallone's Baby

The 2 1/2-month-old girl is expected to recover from hole in heart

By Marcus Errico Nov 13, 1996 9:30 PMTags
Sophia Rose Stallone, the 2 1/2-month-old daughter of Sylvester Stallone and his fiancee Jennifer Flavin, is recovering at a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing successful open-heart surgery yesterday. The surgery repaired a hole in the baby's heart.

The baby is expected to fully recover. She will remain at UCLA Medical Center for a few days for observation, Stallone spokesman Paul Bloch said Wednesday.

Stallone confirmed one week ago that Sophia Rose had been diagnosed with the extremely rare, but curable, defect. It occurs when a baby is born with an opening in the wall between the left and right sides of the heart, allowing blood to flow between the chambers. Surgery depends on the size of the hole.

"Every child I've seen operated on has survived...In terms of surgery, it's a slam dunk," UCLA pediatric cardiologist Dr. Stacey Drant told E! Online last week. The surgery was performed by Dr. Hillel Laks. The cardiologist who has been treating Sophia Rose is Dr. David Ferry.

Stallone and Flavin are maintaining a bedside vigil while their child recuperates. "I've been staying at the hospital with Jennifer every night," Stallone said in a statement. "I have been blessed with two miracles within the past nine weeks--that of my daughter being born and that of my daughter being reborn."

Sophia Rose was born August 27 to the couple. She is the couple's first, although the actor has two children from a previous marriage.