Doctors have managed to save this cute three-month-old baby boy who was born with a very rare condition that meant his heart was on the outside of his chest.
As can be seen in the images, little Hussein Al Hasan was born with his heart outside of his rib cage in a very rare case of Ectopia Cordis, which is when the baby is born with its heart partially or fully on the outside of its body.
The incident took place in the Turkish city of Adana, in Adana Province, in south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border.
Hussein, who is Syrian, was saved by four specialist doctors who operated on him for two hours, according to local media outlet Milliyet, with Hussein being called a “miracle baby” by one of his doctors as a result.
Hussein is the second child of Ali Al Hasan, 23, Halime Al Abdullah, 20, and he was born at the Marsa Gynecology and Obstetrics Hospital. But he was quickly transferred to the intensive care unit at the Cukurova University Medical Faculty Balcali Hospital, due to the rare condition.
He was examined for two weeks before the operation was performed by four specialists.
Dr Hacer Yapicioglu Yildizdas, from the neonatology department of the Balcali Hospital, explained that the baby had not been followed or gone through any checkups while it was still in its mother’s womb, which meant that the problem went undetected until he was born
She said: “We saw that the baby’s sternum did not develop and that the heart was protected by a thin skin. We covered that part with a dressing to prevent injury and infection. Over time, the heart moved out of the chest. It was operated on and fixed.”
She added that in the near future, the family will have to make sure that his chest is well protected.
Dr Orhan Kemal Salih, from the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, said that there is a very high mortality rate associated with the Ectopia Cordis condition, adding: “It is a heart anomaly with a history of 5,000 years. Most of these are babies lost in their first interventions, and their surgeries are very high risk. We can call it a kind of ‘miracle baby’.
“We performed the first surgery together with plastic surgery. Of course, due to the absence of the anterior chest wall and the partial fusion of the ribs, it will be vulnerable to trauma.”
The medical experts said that now that Hussein’s heart is back inside his chest, it should close and strengthen using its own tissue.