Baby Born with Heart Outside Her Body

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Baby Born with Heart Outside Her Body

Baby born with heart outside her body survives surgery. Three-week-old Vanellope Hope Wilkins survived surgery at Glenfield Hospital in the UK. The baby is now on the road to recovery after she was born with ectopia cordia. This is a rare congenital condition causing her heart to grow outside her body. Vanellope underwent three intensive surgeries in order to place her heart inside her chest.

Mother Didn’t Think Baby Would Survive

Naomi Findlay, the mother, said, “I had prepared myself for the worst; that was my way of dealing with it. I had brought an outfit to hospital that she could wear if she died.” She went on to say, “I genuinely didn’t think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been amazing.”

Early Ultrasound Indicated Problems

When an ultasound was given, at nine weeks, it indicated the baby’s heart and part of her stomach had begun to grow outside of her body. Another ultrasound was given at 16 weeks. It found that the baby’s bowel had moved back to the normal position, but her heart was still out of place. At this point, Naomi, and the father, Dean Wilkins, chose to fight for their baby’s life. In most cases, the malformation is detected in the womb and the pregnancy is terminated or results in stillbirth.

Dr. Martin Ward-Plat said, “Usually babies like Vanellope are born with a number of other complications of the heart or other organs, but from the media reports it seems this could be the only abnormality – which makes it even more rare.”

Vanellope still has a period of recovery ahead; however, what a wonderful Christmas present this birth will bring to the family!