One of the best things about building a family is having a baby. Babies give deeper meaning and happiness to a family. The incomparable feeling of completeness and contentment are heavenly bliss. But sometimes this precious gift is put to test not just for the newborn but also to the entire family. Sadly but true, some babies are born with unbearable deformities and sickness that tore every parents’ heart. And talking about heart, what if the baby was born with heart OUTSIDE the body?
Just like this child in Madhya Pradesh, India, she was born on March 18 2015, with her heart outside her body.
She had a rare condition called “ectopia cordis”, which affects about eight in every one million births and 90 percent are stillborn but sadly, they die within three days.
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The parents of the baby Sushma Padmakar, 22 and her husband Basant Padmakar, an electrician were confused by the baby’s condition at first. Basant said “The God has blessed us with a baby but I don’t know whether to call it a blessing or a curse that has fallen upon us. I am a poor man. We can barely afford two square meals a day. But I will do everything to save my child. We are feeling so helpless.’
The district hospital were not capable to handle this serious and delicate case, the baby was transferred to the Government medical college and hospital in Jabalpur. Dr Vikesh Agarwal a pediatric urologist supervised the surgeons that operated the baby and they are optimistic she will survive.
But there were also reports about this rare condition on 2013 and 2014.
Last year 2014 in India also, medic were stunned when a newborn baby boy with ectopia cordis overcomed the three days’ time frame for this condition.
The doctors advised them go to a private hospital and get surgery done after he was born in Uttar Pradesh state. But parents Priyanka, 24, and Nirbhay Pal, 31, are earning less than £3 a day and the operations are expensive.
This poor family has no way of funding the treatment needed for their first child and they are hoping that the government will help them. Unfortunately there’s no follow-up report if the baby had an operation or whatever happened to him.
Another case was reported by Daily Mail in 2013, “Audrina Cardenas was born in October with the same rare congenital disease, where her heart formed outside her chest.”
But before she was born, Ms Cardenas, Audrina’s mother was referred by Texas Children’s Fetal Center for ultrasound, foetal heart scan and foetal MRI a few weeks before she her scheduled delivery. The Texas Children’s Fetal Center found that a third of the baby’s heart was outside her body.
After the evaluation, Ms. Cardenas was given three difficult options, first abort the baby, second she will be born and carry the burden that she would die one day, third the doctors will construct a hole in her baby’s chest immediately after birth in order to enclosed her heart.
She 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.”
On October 15, Ms Cardenas gave birth via caesarean section the next day her daughter undergoes heart surgery. According to Dr Larry Hollier, chief of plastic surgery at the hospital, “Once the cardiac surgeons were finished operating 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.”
Miraculously, after five weeks of sleepless nights and uneasiness, doctors declared the little girl was out of danger and she was allowed to go home after being fitted for a pink plastic casing to protect her heart.
The doctors say, she’s not totally clear yet, she will be needing more surgeries as she grows up. However, Audrina needs to recuperate first before attempting any medical procedures.
Baby Audrina amazingly overcome her ordeal but she’s not totally off the hook. She will need to see a cardiologist for the rest of her life. According to Dr Carolyn Altman, a pediatric cardiologist at the hospital, “Despite Audrina’s misplaced heart, she was born with no other syndromes or genetic conditions that would cause additional stress or complications on her heart.”