Baby's heart placed back inside her chest in rare surgeries

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Some are calling it a holiday miracle and true story of survival after baby was born with her heart "outside" her body in the United Kingdom.

Glenfield Hospital in Leicester said Wednesday that baby Vanellope Hope was born in late November with her heart growing on the outside of her body.

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".

"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", said consultant neonatologist, Jonathan Cusack.
An ultrasound a few weeks later had shown that while her stomach had moved back to the right position, the heart had not and continued to grow outside her body. "The relief fell out of me", said her mother. "I genuinely didn't think my baby would survive".

Naomi Findlay in a statement on Tuesday said: "I had prepared myself for the worst; that was my way of dealing with it".

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

Less than five percent of babies born with the most common type of ectopia cordis survive for more than a month.

Of those eight, 90 per cent are either stillborn or die within the first three days of life. The pregnant mother was given a caesarean in order to avoid causing any injury to the baby's heart and once delivered she was placed in a sterile plastic bag in order to reduce infection risk. Doctors reported in Circulation that a boy born in the early 2000s had survived for at least three and a half years after surgery. This is something quite particular, not every child has the opportunity even to be born when it's suffering from the congenital condition called ectopia cordis. "Vanellope in the film is so stubborn and she turns into a princess at the end, so it was so fitting".

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

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