Three-week-old Vanellope Hope Wilkins, who was due to be delivered on Christmas Eve before an incredibly rare condition, in which the heart grows on the outside of the body, meant she had to be born prematurely by caesarean section on November 22, is caressed and touched by her parents Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, after surviving, in what is believed to be a UK first. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)

Born with ectopia cordis, a rare congenital condition causing her heart to grow outside her body, the baby girl underwent three intensive surgeries to put her heart inside her chest. She is now on the road to recovery.
“I had prepared myself for the worst; that was my way of dealing with it. I had brought an outfit to hospital that she could wear if she died,” said Naomi Findlay, Vanellope’s mother, in a statement on Tuesday. “I genuinely didn’t think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been amazing.”
“This is only the second case in 30 years that I’ve seen this particular condition, it’s extremely rare,” she said. “Vanellope is the first baby to survive this operation in the UK.”
An initial ultrasound scan at nine weeks had alerted Vanellope’s parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, that their baby’s heart and part of her stomach had begun …
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