Lifestyle & Belief

Baby born with heart outside body leaves Texas hospital


Baby Audrina Cardenas has gone home after undergoing a six-hour surgery to put her heart back in her chest.


Texas Children's Hospital

A baby girl born with her heart outside her body has been discharged from a Texas hospital.

Audrina Cardenas was born Oct. 15, 2012, with a condition known as ectopia cordis, where part of the heart grows outside the chest, reported ABC News. The birth defect is usually fatal, but Audrina underwent a successful six-hour operation at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston that put her heart back in her body.

According to MSNBC Health, the condition affects eight out of 1 million babies every year, and 90 percent die within the first three days of life or are stillborn.

Audrina's doctors have said she is doing well and expect her life to be good.

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"She's ready to go home," hospital spokeswoman Jenn Jacome said Friday. "The physicians expect her to lead a pretty healthy and normal life."

"She’ll have some restraints in what she can do," she continued. "Playing sports, that may be up in the air depending on what her cardiologists say."

Audrina's condition was discovered when her mother went for an ultrasound during the 16th week of her pregnancy, reported Mother Nature Network. She was given the option of ending her pregnancy, opting for comfort care or giving birth to the baby, who would have to undergo a very risky surgery at birth.

"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," Ashley Cardenas told "As soon as I made my decision to continue with the pregnancy, the physicians in Midland referred me to Texas Children's Hospital where a team of miracle workers provided the specialized treatment and care my baby and I both needed."