Read to know why this miracle baby needed armour in order to live
Being born with something different may cause many difficulties for their future.
One such instance was a baby born in a Texas hospital with a condition which affects one in million babies and is mostly fatal for them. Hence the mothers are advised either to abort the baby in order to avoid giving birth to a still born baby.
But this team of doctors decided to do something brilliant for the baby in order to keep it protected and safe, so that it leads a fulfilling and happy life. Read further to know more about the baby and the condition she suffered from.
1 The miracle baby
Audrina Cardenas was born with a rare congenital condition known as ectopia cordis. Her heart was formed outside her chest and was completely exposed to external harm.
The disease affects probably one in eight million babies and nine out of 10 victims are stillborn or die within three days. But the three-and-a-half-month-old dared to beat the odds when she was discharged from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and taken home by her mother Ashley.
2 The condition
Ectopia cordis is a hereditary deformity in where the heart is abnormally situated either partly or totally outside of the chest cavity. The condition is very difficult to treat and majority of babies born with this condition are born either still born or die within days of birth.
In this condition the heart is present outside of the chest wall and therefore, it does not have any protection by the skin or sternum. To complicate the condition further, the heart itself is largely incorrectly formed.
Along with heart abnormalities, children with ectopia cordis may also suffer from cleft palates. Their spine can also be formed improperly which can cause kyphosis, a condition in which there is a C curvature in the thoracic spine.
3 Before the birth
Before Audrina’s birth, Ms Cardenas was presented with three very tough options – abort the baby, carry her to term with the knowledge that she would die, or have doctors to create a hole in her baby’s chest immediately after birth in order to make space for the heart.
Ms Cardenas said, ”After my doctors explained just how sick my baby was and what options I had, it didn’t matter how scared I was, I knew I had to do anything possible to save my daughter’s life.”
Her check-up was done by Texas Children’s Fetal Center just a few weeks before her planned delivery. The doctors gave her an ultrasound, foetal heart scan and foetal MRI and found out that a third of the baby’s heart was outside her body.
4 The solution
On October 15, Ms Cardenas gave birth to the baby via caesarean section and the baby was taken away for heart surgery the next day to repair her condition.
Dr Larry Hollier, chief of plastic surgery at the hospital, said,”Once the cardiac surgeons were finished operating on Audrina, the plastic surgery team played a pivotal role in completing this surgery as we were responsible for covering her heart beneath her skin and muscle.”
After five weeks, the doctors confirmed that the little baby girl was safe and healthy for the while and on Wednesday she was lastly allowed to go home after they said she was ‘doing very well. And in order to protect her chest and heart, the doctors devised armour like chest plate which will keep her from getting hurt.
5 The future of the baby
Baby Audrina is still isn’t totally safe yet. Her surgeons said that,” she’ll need more surgeries in coming years to repair defects in her heart.” The surgeons have to wait for her to become healthy and recover from the current surgery for them to do more surgeries.
The happy and lively infant was discharged from the hospital fitted with a pink exterior heart shield that she will have to wear for the foreseeable future in order to keep her heart protected from any impact or external hurt.
The baby would require having more surgeries in coming years in order for her to have a more permanent protective shield put in her chest cavity when she becomes older and active.