A child was born with a heart outside the body and survived

Author Ольга Кияница


On November 22, at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England, a girl with a rare and often fatal developmental disorder called ectopia cordis (ectopia of the heart) was born by a caesarean section a few weeks earlier from the due date, at which the organ grows either completely or partially outside the breast cavity. Most children with such congenital anomalies are stillborn or they soon die after birth.

The girl's parents learned about the extremely rare pathology of the fetus at an early stage of her intrauterine development, after which they were often told about the potential risks - that she might have other chromosomal abnormalities or problems, and that she might die before birth. The pictures showed that the child's heart and stomach are outside the body. A few weeks later the stomach went into the torso, but the heart remained in the same position.

Despite the insistence, future parents rejected the advice about abortion. They asked for help from specialists. Blood tests were performed in the fetus to determine serious genetic disorders. "When the results of this test were obtained and the low risk of any anomalies was confirmed, we jumped up and down in the living room and cried," said Wilkins, the girl's father, in a statement to the hospital. "At this point, we decided to fight to give our daughter maximum chances to survive."

Thus, the girl, who was given the name Vanellop, 50 minutes after birth, made the first operation to remove the supporting tube. After a while, the second was performed, which consisted in returning the heart to the chest. The operations involved brigades of anesthesiologists, pediatric surgeons, specialists in congenital heart disease, and neonatology consultants. It was lucky that the baby had no pathological changes in the structure of the heart, but only its wrong location, although other children with this pathology often have chromosomal abnormalities.

At the end of three weeks after surgery, the girl had "more strength than you could imagine," said Wilkins, her father, according to BBC News.

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