A baby girl born with her heart outside her chest survived a high-risk surgery and doctors believe she will have a healthy, long life.
The New York Daily News is reporting Audrina Cardenes is recovering at Texas Children’s Hospital after being born five weeks earlier with a normally fatal condition called ectopia cordis, which according to the hospital’s official blog, is when a baby’s heart is located either partially or totally outside the chest.
“I personally have only seen this condition a few times in my career and these are always very tricky cases,” said Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Charles D. Fraser. “In fact, many of these babies do not survive.”
According to the hospital’s blog, Cardenes’ mother discovered her baby’s condition during an ultrasound 16 weeks into the pregnancy. She was then given three options: to terminate the pregnancy, opt for comfort care, or attempt risky surgery after birth. She chose surgery and was then referred to Texas Children’s Fetal Center from her home in Midland, Texas.
“Although her future prognosis is still uncertain, Audrina is currently thriving and making progress each day,” said Fraser. “She will continue to be carefully followed by a multidisciplinary team and will require specialized care by a pediatric cardiologist for the rest of her life.”
The New York Daily news stated that a team of surgeons performed the surgery, placing the baby’s heart back in her chest. The hospital’s blog reveals only eight out of one million babies are born with this condition and 90% of them are either stillborn or die within the first three days of life.
The medical team is currently monitoring the child.
“Audrina is a true fighter and we are hopeful that she will continue to progress,” said Fraser. “I am also hopeful that Audrina’s case marks the beginning of our ability to care for more children diagnosed with ectopia cordis in the future.”