On November 22nd at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England – a miracle happened. Of course the word “miracle” isn’t always a favorite among the medical community but in this case that’s exactly what it was.
Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born with her heart beating outside of her body.
The condition, ectopia cordis, is extremely rare, with only a few cases per million births, of which most are stillborn. The hospital says they know of no other case in the UK where the baby has survived. But this little girl was determined to not only survive, but thrive.
Her parents, Naomi and Dean, named their daughter Vanellope after a character in the Disney film “Wreck-It Ralph.” Naomi says they chose her name because the girl in the film is a real fighter and at the end turns into a princess.
But becoming a princess is hard work. Three operations later, her heart was placed back in her chest.
Although Vanellope’s mom Naomi was initially scared and shocked to see her daughters heart outside of her chest on the ultrasound, she says abortion was something they just couldn’t do.
Naomi’s husband says, “We were advised to have a termination and that the chances of survival were next to none – no-one believed she was going to make it except us.”
“To see, even at nine weeks, a heartbeat – no matter where it was. It was not something I was going to take away.”
And take it away they didn’t. There were roughly 50 medical staff present during Vanellope’s birth. Right after birth, the child was on her way to the first of three surgeries to place her heart back into her chest.
Despite this little girl’s resilience, the hospital says she still has a long road ahead of her – the main risk being infection. Her dad, Dean says, “She’s defying everything – it’s beyond a miracle.”
We’re so happy to hear that Vanellope’s parents chose life for their child and despite the odds, she is alive. Unfortunately not every parent has the final say on the health and life of their child.
Alfie is a 17-month old currently on life-support. His parents want to find whatever way they can to help him survive – but their hospital is attempting to take away their parental rights and remove Alfie from life support.
Sign the petition NOW to let the Alder Hey Hospital know Alfie’s parents should have the final say on the health and life of their child.
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