Jan. 25 - Wearing a special pink shield to protect her chest after extensive surgery to place her heart inside her body, a 3-month old Texas baby was released from the hospital. Deborah Gembara reports.
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She has spent her entire life surrounded by doctors but three-month old Baby Audrina is finally leaving the hospital.
SOUNDBITE: Ashley Cardenas, Mother of Audrina Cardenas, the child born with her heart outside of her body saying:
"It's been a blessing to finally say we're going home after three and a half months."
She was born with more than a third of her heart outside of her body - a rare and often fatal heart condition known as Ectopia Cordis. Doctors at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston performed surgery almost immediately, working for six hours to create a cavity to fit her tiny, beating heart and then covering it with skin from other parts of her body.
Three months later, she must wear a special shield to protect her heart. At some point, she'll have to return for more surgery.
Her mother Ashley Cardenas.
SOUNDBITE: Ashley Cardenas, Audrina Cardena's mother saying:
"They will actually take part of her rib bones to perform some type of protection over her heart that will eventually grow with her but all that depends on how big and strong she grows."
For the moment, Cardenas is just glad to be able to bring her little girl home. She's well aware that baby Audrina has defied the odds. Almost 90 percent of the eight in one million with the defect are either stillborn or die within the first three days of life.
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