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Baby born with heart on the outside goes home

January 24, 2013 3:04:35 PM PST
On Wednesday, little Audrina Cardenas left the hospital, three months after the surgery to put her heart back where it belongs.

"She's doing really good, she'll be going home on a little bit of oxygen, but very little. She'll going home on a feeding tube but hopefully with OT help, we will help her get on a bottle," Audrina's mom, Ashley Cardenas, said.

And she's come a long way since she was born October 15 with one-third of her heart outside her body. During a six-hour surgery, Texas Children's Hospital doctors reconstructed her chest cavity to make space for her heart. But she doesn't have a bony breast plate to protect her heart, so they made her one -- a pink chest shield.

Only eight babies in a million are born with this rare congenital malformation. Most don't live longer than three days. Audrina is one of the few who is doing well enough to leave the hospital.

To read the full story, please visit our sister station KTRK.

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