Baby born with heart outside her chest survives

Baby born with heart outside her chest survives

Baby born with heart outside her chest survives

Vanellope Hope Wilkins, who was born three weeks ago with her heart outside her chest, has defied all the odds and is still alive.

She has ectopia cordis, a rare condition in which the heart is "abnormally located either partially or totally outside of the chest", according to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England, where Vanellope was born and where she is being treated. The first surgery happened after just 50 minutes of being born after she was found to be stable enough, and it was the first step in a long journey for the baby's survival.

"The actual defect in baby Vanellope's chest wall was quite small", Jonathan Cusack, a consultant neonatologist with Glenfield Hospital, said in a press release issued by the hospital. However, a scan while she was nine weeks old revealed that her heart was growing outside her body, in a rare and often fatal condition known as Ectopia cordis. An ultrasound a few weeks later had shown that while her stomach had moved back to the right position, the heart had not and continued to grow outside her body. "I'm now confident she won't wear it so I'm going to donate it to the hospital".

"I genuinely didn't think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been unbelievable".

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Vanellope is the first baby in the United Kingdom who survives being born with ectopia cordis.

Findlay said: "I had prepared myself for the worst; that was my way of dealing with it".

Some experts - including the consultant cardiologist - said they have not seen or known about another baby who survives after being born with this condition.

Of those eight, 90 per cent are either stillborn or die within the first three days of life.

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Babies born with this condition have a survival rate of less than 10% due to the risks of infections and other side effects, the hospital added.

Immediately after Vanellope was born, she was "immediately placed in a sterile plastic bag" to keep her organs sterile and tissues moist.

On Nov. 22, a team of about 50 clinical staff at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester delivered baby Vanellope Hope through a caesarean section, looking to reduce the risk of infection and injuring her heart. After the birth, she said, "I felt guilty for thinking negative thoughts because here she is fighting, and there there was I, about to give up".

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