British Baby With Heart Outside Body Survives 3 Surgeries

English hospital officials said Wednesday that a baby born with her heart outside her body had survived three surgeries to mend her condition. 

Glenfield Hospital in Leicester said Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born in late November with her heart growing on the outside of her body. The unusual condition is called ectopia cordis.

She underwent the first surgery to put her heart back inside her body within in an hour of her birth. 

Dr. Nick Moore said the baby was in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit.

Only eight babies in 1 million are born with ectopia cordis. The vast majority are stillborn or die within three days.

Cardiologists said they didn’t know of another case in Britain in which a baby had survived this condition. Several babies have survived the surgery in the United States, including Audrina Cardenas, who was born in Texas in 2012. 

The English baby’s parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, told BBC news that they named their daughter after a character in the Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph.

“Vanellope in the film is a real fighter and at the end turns into a princess, so we thought it was fitting,” Findlay said. 

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