Baby with rare heart defect is saved by surgery
A newborn Texan has proven that when given the chance, LIFE can triumph even against astronomical odds.
When Ashley Cardenas of Odessa, TX was 16 weeks pregnant, she was told her unborn baby had an extremely rare condition known as ectopia cordis, where the heart is located outside the child’s body. Only eight out of every million babies suffer from this condition, and the survival rate is less than 10 percent. Doctors told Ashley that even in the unlikely event that her child survived until birth, they had no idea what kind of quality of life the child would have.
Ashley's choices were to have an abortion, let the child be born and receive palliative care until she passed away, or have doctors perform a high-risk surgery to repair and place the heart back inside the baby's body. Ashley bravely chose LIFE for her unborn daughter and opted for the surgery.
On October 15th, Audrina Cardenas was born with roughly one-third of her heart exposed and underwent an exhaustive six hour open-heart surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. A skilled team of cardiac and plastic surgeons worked tirelessly to repair the heart and place it back in Audrina’s newborn body.
Audrina was fortunate enough that she had no additional syndromes or genetic mutations to add additional stress on her heart. Although she faces a long recovery and future surgeries to help rebuild and strengthen her chest cavity, her prognosis is good. All of her family and medical professionals are amazed at the fighting spirit and desire to live that Audrina has demonstrated by her survival against all odds.
The Pro-Life community is thankful for this miraculous outcome, and also applauds Ashley for rejecting advice to have an abortion and instead giving Audrina a chance to live.
Abortion would not have resolved Audrina’s condition. Abortion would have only robbed her of LIFE and robbed her mother of the opportunity to have the chance to hold and know her daughter. This case powerfully illustrates that when mothers and children face these serious medical cases, they need specialized and personalized medical treatment, not abortion. Because Ashley had the courage to reject abortion, her daughter has already touched countless lives by demonstrating that anything is possible.
Join Texas Right to Life in praying that more women choose LIFE in difficult situations, and that medical professionals continue to grow in their successes in treating potentially fatal conditions.