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Baby Born With Heart Outside of Chest Defies Odds and Goes Home

Inside Edition logo Inside Edition 2/12/2019 Stephanie Officer

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Doctors initially gave Vanellope Hope Wilkins just a 10 percent chance of survival after her premature birth. She was born with a rare condition called ectopia cordis, which left her heart outside of her body.

Vanellope was born on Nov. 22, 2017. Since then, she's had three surgeries and was eventually able to take a few overnight trips home. But now, for the first time in nearly 15 months, she gets to go home for good.

"Amazing, ... a relief. It's over. It's all over, apart from the appointments we've got scheduled. But she's not an inpatient no more. It's an outpatient. So, yay!” mom Naomi Wilkins told the BBC.

Not too long ago, the thought of Vanellope being back in her Nottingham, England, home surrounded by loved ones was hard to imagine.

"Her condition is so unusual and so rare that at times we had to make up treatments on the spot but it's all worked and we've seen a change from a little baby into a proper little girl now, with a character, with a smile, she interacts and just looks like a normal toddler," said Dr. Patrick Davies, consultant at Children’s Pediatric Care.

Vanellope was originally due on Christmas Eve. Her mom had to have her by Caesarean section a month early because of the condition.

The toddler is now believed to be the first child ever born in Britain with the condition and who has survived.

The constant vigilance and dedication of medical staff and family is a true testament to Vanellope's middle name, Hope.

"And as you can see, she's a completely different kid when she's at home, do you know what I mean, compared to how she is in the hospital. She is very, like, cautious of people but at home she will just shout her head off and do whatever she wants, Naomi said.

Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born with a rare condition called ectopia cordis, which left her heart outside of her body. © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born with a rare condition called ectopia cordis, which left her heart outside of her body.  
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