Medicine

Baby born with heart outside body survives

Baby born with heart outside body survives

Naomi Findlay, 31, and Dean Wilkins, 43 from Nottinghamshire got to know about this condition after Naomi was around two months pregnant.

Mum Naomi Findlay said: 'In the end I just said that termination is not an option for me - if it was to happen naturally, then so be it. It's taken three operations, but Vanellope's heart is now beating inside her body now, according to the Leicester Mercury, which calls the procedures a "UK first". "When my first lad (Caleb) saw her it knocked him for six because he was expecting us just to bring a little baby home".

'But when she came out crying, that was it. "Twenty minutes went by and she was still shouting her head off - it made us so joyful".

She was due on Christmas Eve, but her condition-ectopia cordis-meant she had to be born early by cesarean section.

"At around 50 minutes of age, it was felt that Vanellope was stable enough" for the team to begin "the task of putting her entire heart back inside her chest", the hospital quoted Dr. Jonathan Cusack, a consultant neonatologist, as saying.

A week later, surgeons began the second operation to open her chest some more in order to provide space for her heart to fit inside. It was only after that the final operation took place where skin from under her arms was moved cover the portion around her heart.

"I deal with babies with heart problems all the time, some of them very complicated", said Dr. Frances Bu'Lock, consultant in pediatric cardiology at Glenfield Hospital.

The couple gave her the middle name Hope.

Ectopia cordis is found in one in every 126,000 births and it is severe; 90% of babies born with this condition are either stillborn or die within a few days, according to Children's Hospital Colorado.

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First she beat the odds by being born despite her heart growing outside her body.

"All the way through it, it was, "The chances of survival are next to none, the only option is to terminate, we can offer counselling" and things like that".

"In the end I just said that termination is not an option for me".

Vanellope will have to go through further surgery at a later stage.

Dean recalled: "When those results came back as low risk of any abnormalities we jumped up and down in the living room and cried. At that point we chose to fight to give our daughter the best chance of surviving". "If we can get out there that there is a hope and it can be done then it's giving all those mums out there a chance", he added.

Experts are increasingly optimistic that she could survive the ordeal. While it would seem more hopeful she will do well, it is nearly impossible to be confident of this'. "The work that they have done is absolutely incredible", she said.

Ectopia cordis is a serious congenital malformation in which the heart is located either partially or totally outside of the chest cavity.

She didn't have any other abnormalities with chromosomes. Babies born with the condition often have less than a 10 percent chance of survival.


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