#Vanellope Hope Wilkins was delivered in Leicester three weeks ago by Caesarean section.

Glenfield Hospital saved Vanellope's life with multiple operations after she was born with her #heart outside her chest.

The condition called ectopia cordis is very rare. There are only a few cases in a million births.

Most babies born with the condition are stillborn, making this baby even more of a miracle.

The hospital in Leicester said that it doesn't know of any other cases in the UK where the baby has survived.

The miracle baby's condition was found after a 9-week pregnancy scan, she was due on Christmas Eve but was delivered by Caesarean section on November 22 to reduce any complications and infections.

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At first, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, her parents were told the termination would be the only way forward as there had been no cases of any baby surviving birth with the condition in the UK.

After coming into the world, the baby girl was given a sterile bag, this kept her heart moist and was also used to try and reduce the risk of any infections.

Some 50 minutes after being born, Vanellope was having her first of three serious operations. Her most recent operation saw her own skin being used to cover the hole in her chest.

What is ectopia cordis?

Ectopia cordis is a rare genetic defect which arises during a baby’s development in the womb.

The chest wall doesn’t form properly as it doesn’t fuse together as it should. This stops the heart from developing where it should.

Because of this it leaves the heart exposed outside of the protective chest wall.

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The condition can lead to other problems such as deformities in the chest, abdomen, or both along with defects within the heart itself.

The reason for this condition is not clear, some theories include; chromosomal abnormalities, intrauterine drug exposure and rupture of fetal membranes or yolk sac.

Babies born with the condition have a 10% chance of survival. This depends if there are any other health concerns and if there is enough room within the baby to put the heart back inside its chest.

There's a 'long road ahead'

After three operations with over 50 medical staff present throughout her treatment, the next steps are to aid her recovery by taking her off her ventilator which she has been on since surgery.

Obstetricians, heart surgeons, anaesthetists, neonatologists and midwives included just some of the medical staff involved in baby Vanellope's journey so far. #Miracle Baby