Toddler, who once spent nearly 700 days in hospital for heart defect, dies

Valentina Garnetti— a three-year-old girl who made headlines for spending nearly 700 days in the hospital for a heart defect— has died according to a Facebook post from her mother. 

"This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to make," Valentina’s mother Francesca posted Saturday. "My life will never be the same. Valentina took her last breath this morning in my mom’s arms." 

Several hours before the latest post, Francesca said her daughter was not breathing and didn’t have a pulse. She requested prayers. 

RELATED: Toddler comes home after spending nearly 700 days in hospital for heart defect

Francesca said she gave her daughter CPR until first responders arrived on the scene. She said Valentina was taken to a local hospital where medical staff tried to perform more CPR before pronouncing her dead. 

"My baby fought so hard for so long and her body was just tired," the mother continued. "The world is a sadder place today. I’ve never felt a pain like this."

"Valentina’s love was a different kind of love," she added. "She had the brightest sparkle in her eye and the biggest, most perfect smile. She truly loved everyone she met. I hope she knows how much she was loved back. I loved Valentina more than anything in the universe and her two sisters did too."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses. 

Valentina first gained notoriety in 2021 for spending 694 consecutive days in the hospital. She was born May 1, 2019, with a congenital heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She was finally able to go home for the first time in her life in March 2021. 

Since that time, she has been in and out of the hospital while enjoying family and friends, according to the "Valentina’s Journey" Facebook page

"She was missing a left chamber of her heart," her mother Francesca told FOX Television Stations in April 2021 about the day her daughter was born. "But luckily for us, I was able to hold her for an hour, which is a really long time, before she needed any intervention and then they [hospital staff] took her away."

During her stint in the hospital, Valentina had six surgeries, four of them were open-heart surgeries. 

"She has just had complication after complication after complication," her mother said. "So everything that ould go wrong, went wrong in Valentina’s case."

"She’s a fighter. So everything that she went through has brought us to this point, " Francesca said.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the survival rate for hypoplastic left heart syndrome continues to improve with medicine. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition affects normal blood flow through the heart. The CDC estimates 1,025 babies in the United States are born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome each year.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.