Audrina Cardenas, 3 month-old baby born with the heart outside body, gets to go home

Commentary: This is a truly remarkable story of the advance of medicine to take care of a rare medical condition, ectopia cordis, usually fatal. Audrina Cardenes is a learning case for physicians to learn from. Great job and well done to the medical team at Texas Children Hospital in Texas!

Only 8 out of 1 million are born with the rare condition that affected little Audrina Cardenes — and most die within days acoording to the hospital.


A three-month old baby born with her heart outside her body will finally leave the hospital on Thursday with the vital organ safely back in her chest.

Audrina Cardenes was born with a rare and normally fatal condition called ectopia cordis, in which all or part of the heart is outside the body.A skilled team of surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston operated on Audrina’s strong but exposed heart in November, and new photos from the procedure released Thursday show her heart “shield.”

“Only eight out of 1 million babies are born with ectopia cordis, and 90 percent of these babies are either stillborn or die within the first 3 days of life,” the hospital’s official blog said after Audrina’s surgery.

Two months after her operation to place her heart back inside her chest, the baby is now ready to leave the hospital and go home with her family.

“Audrina is a true fighter and we are hopeful that she will continue to progress,” Audrina’s surgeon, Dr. Charles D. Fraser, said shortly after the risky operation. “I am also hopeful that Audrina’s case marks the beginning of our ability to care for more children diagnosed with ectopia cordis in the future.”


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