10:52 GMT +319 January 2019
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    Hope Despite the Odds: Incredible UK Baby Born With Heart Outside Body Survives

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    It was discovered at a nine-week scan that Vanellope Hope Wilkins had an extremely rare condition, ectopia cordis, causing her heart and part of her stomach to grow outside her body. Due to the extremely low survivability of the condition, her parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, were advised that "termination" was the only option.

    UK doctors have successfully carried out surgery to save a baby girl born with her heart outside her body, allowing her heart to move back into her chest in what is reportedly a UK first.

    Vanellope's parents bravely opted not to terminate the pregnancy and to instead put their trust in medical science. Now, after three surgeries over the course of three weeks at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, Vanellope has survived in what is described by The Independent as a "first in the UK."

    READ MORE: Baby Disposed of in Plastic Bag by Hospital Found Alive Minutes Before Cremation

    The media outlet reports that the initial surgery took place within an hour of her delivery, with hospital staff and specialized equipment having been prepared beforehand. Lines were inserted into her blood vessels and umbilical cord to provide her with medications and fluids to support her heart, as well as to monitor her blood pressure.

    READ MORE: ‘Beautiful Moment of Hope:' First Baby Born in US After Uterus Transplant

    A week later, surgeons began the second operation to open her chest some more in order to provide space for her heart to fit inside.

    It took two more weeks for her heart, under gravity, to sink back into her chest, allowing for the third surgery, which was to take skin from under her arms and to wrap it over her chest cavity. An "artificial" rib cage also made to protect her heart, due to her not having ribs.

    Vanellope's mother said that she was named after a Disney princess known for her stubbornness, while her father said that her middle name "Hope" is a reminder that while some might choose to terminate, hope is ever present.

    heart, doctors, baby, Surgery, United Kingdom
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