Baby born with heart outside her body expected to survive

Baby girl survives after being born with heart outside her body, in UK first

Baby girl survives after being born with heart outside her body, in UK first

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

Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, look at their daughter, three-week-old Vanellope Hope Wilkins who was born with an extremely rare condition in which the heart grows on the outside of the body, at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, Monday Dec. 11, 2017.

Glenfield Hospital/University Hospitals of Leicester/NHS TrustVanellope was born with her heart located outside her chest.

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

Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born on November 22 without a breastbone, the long bone to which the ribs are attached.

"Cases such as Vanellope's, where everything else appears essentially normal, are even rarer, and whilst it would seem more hopeful she will do well, it is therefore nearly impossible to be confident of this", said Branko Mimic, the lead surgeon at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre.

It wasn't until her mother, Naomi, was 16 weeks pregnant doctors realized her daughter's heart was still out of place. "I genuinely didn't think my baby would survive". "I had brought an outfit to hospital that she could wear if she died", Findlay said in a press release issued by the hospital.

Baby girl survives after being born with heart outside her body, in UK first
Baby born with heart outside her chest survives

Doctors are now planning another surgery to give the newborn a breast bone and could 3D print one to fit.

Most babies born with this condition do not survive although there have been some cases in which surgery has been successful.

Vanellope is the first baby to have survived with this condition in the United Kingdom, according to multiple media outlets.

Babies born with the condition - one estimate is five to eight per million - have less than a 10% chance of survival.

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

"I'm now confident she won't wear it so I'm going to donate it to the hospital".

In the last surgery, doctors took skin from Vanellope's arms and moved it into the middle of her body.

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