Chron.com File photo of ectopia cordis.
A baby girl who was born with her heart outside of her body is defying the odds and recovering after lifesaving surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, where she was born five weeks ago.
Audrina Cardenes was recovering at Texas Children’s Hospital after being born five weeks earlier with a rare and normally fatal condition called ectopia cordis.
According to the hospital’s official blog, the condition is where a baby’s heart is located either partially or totally outside the chest.
“Only 8 out of 1 million babies are born with ectopia cordis, and 90% of these babies are either stillborn or die within the first 3 days of life,” the post said.
Audrina’s tiny heart was intact and structurally sound, but about “a third” was also completely outside her chest, “just sitting out to the world,” said Dr. Charles Fraser, the Texas Children’s surgeon-in-chief who led her operation.
A multi-disciplinary team of surgeons performed an intricate surgery which places Audrina’s heart back in her chest.
“The surgery went really well….a little early to be definitive about her prognosis but so far, so good.”
Though little Audrina will probably have to have other surgeries in the future, Dr. Fraser said he was “very optimistic about the long term prognosis for the child.”
WATCH: Doctors discuss baby born with heart outside body making amazing recovery