Miracle baby born with heart outside body due to extremely rare condition

Danny Woods
December 15, 2017

She's believed to be the first baby ever in the United Kingdom to not to die from the debilitating condition, The Telegraph reported.

A baby born with an extremely rare condition has survived three surgeries to place her heart inside her chest, in what is believed to be a UK-first.

Mum and dad were expecting the birth to be around Christmas Eve.

Doctor's told the parents the first ten minutes of Vanellope's life on earth would be the most crucial.

Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins say they let nature take its course as they couldn't bring themselves to end the pregnancy.

"When she cried, we cried".

Naomi stated: "It was a genuine stun when the ultrasound demonstrated that her heart was outside her chest and frightening since we didn't recognize what might happen".

When the parent's got the news nine weeks into Findley's pregnancy, their "whole world just fell to bits".

"We made a decision to fight to give our daughter the best chance of surviving", Mr Wilkins said.

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The condition, ectopia cordis, is to a great degree uncommon, with just a couple of cases for every million births, of which most are stillborn.

Findley said termination was not an option for her and she chose to let nature take its course.

According to the Independent, consultant neonatologist Jonathan Cusack said: "At around 50 minutes of age, it was felt that Vanellope was stable enough to be transferred back to the main theatre where she had been born to the waiting anaesthetists, congenital heart disease and paediatric surgical teams who began the task of putting her entire heart back inside her chest". Vanellope Hope Wilkins has undergone three operations, the first within an hour of her birth, since being delivered prematurely on November 22 by Caesarean section.

The procedures worked - special lines were inserted into her umbilical cord to give fluid and medication to support her heart.

"The moment she was born I realized that we had made the right decision". Doctors watched as the chest gradually opened to create more space for the heart to fit back in.

Little Vanellope Hope Wilkins would not be alive today if her mother had listened to her doctors' repeated urgings to have an abortion.

Audrina was given a protective plastic shield to cover her chest.

"The couple named Vanellope after a character in the Disney film 'Wreck-It Ralph".

Naomi said: "Vanellope in the film is a real fighter and at the end turns into a princess so we thought it was fitting". The hospital says that it is not possible to predict Vanellope's chances of survival with any certainty.

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