Infant born with heart outside chest wins battle against death

A complicated surgical procedure helped an infant survive after being born with heart outside the chest.

Newborn Baby
Newborn Baby - Representational Picture Reuters

Modern medical science has now something great to boast about, as a surgical procedure has helped an infant to survive after being born with heart outside her chest. Vanellope Hope Wilkins' heart was successfully inserted back into her chest following a marathon surgical procedure. Even though the baby is still on the ventilator, medical experts believe that she will come back to normal life soon.

The surgery was conducted by a group of medical professionals at the Glenfield Hospital, Leicester. The complicated surgical procedure was conducted just 50 minutes after her birth on November 22.

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There are only a handful of such cases where the baby has survived this condition, and this is for the first time in the UK that an infant with this rare disorder is saved.

Ectopia Cordis: Heart outside the chest

This rare condition in which the heart is grown outside the body is called Ectopia Cordis. Most babies with this condition usually die after a few days after their birth, but Vanellope Hope Wilkins stay as an exception and let us hope that she will live a hundred more years with perfect health.

Vanellope's condition was first discovered when her foetus was nine weeks old. The parents of Vanellope were literally confused when they saw an unusual growth in her developing body.

After knowing more about Vanellope's condition, medical experts asked her mother, Naomi Findlay, to abort the pregnancy. But her dad Dean insisted that she should give birth to her after he saw his infant moving in her mother's stomach.

"When she starts moving her arms, you feel like, 'That's a life in there, she is there. Termination was not an option for me," said Dean, reports Mirror UK.

The complicated delivery

As the couples decided to welcome their baby at any cost, special counseling was given to them to face even the worst. The baby was delivered on November 22 with cesarean to reduce the chances of heart damage during normal delivery.

Soon after her birth, Vanellope was wrapped in a sterile plastic bag to reduce the risks of infection. Even though the defect in Vanellop'e chest was very small, surgeons involved in the procedure were very much concerned about the way in which it should be placed properly after connecting it with arteries and veins.

Dean, the father of Vanellope, thanked NHS for conducting the surgery.

"The moment she was born I realized that we had made the right decision. People always knock the NHS, but all we have seen from the team at Glenfield is kindness and a desire to keep Naomi and Vanellope safe and I can't begin to thank them for what they have done for my girls," said Dean in a statement.