Baby born with heart outside body celebrates 1st birthday

Audrina Cardenas leaves the hospital

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Audrina Cardenas

HOUSTON - The baby who was born with her heart outside of her body is celebrating a birthday.

Audrina Cardenas was born one year ago Tuesday. The following day, she underwent a six-hour surgery at Texas Children's Hospital.

Surgeons were able to put her heart back inside her body.

Audrina was born with a rare condition called Ectopia Cordis.

According to Texas Children's Hospital, only eight in one million babies are born with that condition and 90 percent of them are either stillborn or die within the first three days of life.

After spending three and a half months recovering at Texas Children's Hospital under the care of the specialist intensive care team, Audrina was discharged but remained close to the hospital so she could be monitored.

Audrina was able to celebrate her birthday free of medications, but is still on oxygen. Doctors say her development is improving every day and she's now crawling and even trying to walk.

She will still require another surgery in the next few months to construct a chest wall to protect her heart and repair cardiac defects associated with her condition.

Audrina will continue to be carefully monitored and will require specialized care by a pediatric cardiologist for the rest of her life, but doctors say her future outlook and prognosis is positive.

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