Audrina Cardenas discharged after 3 1/2 month stay in Texas Children's Hospital


HOUSTON - (January 23, 2013) - Today at Texas Children's Hospital, Audrina Cardenas was discharged after a 3 1/2 month stay in the hospital. Audrina was born with her heart outside her chest, a very rare diagnosis known as ectopia cordis.

Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr. (heart surgeon, surgeon-in-chief, pictured), Dr. Larry Hollier (plastic surgeon) and Dr. David Wesson (general surgeon) performed a life-saving surgery on her second day of life to repair her heart. Eight out of 1 million babies are diagnosed with this rare condition each year and 90% of those children will not survive. But Audrina has defied the odds and is doing very well.

Audrina left the hospital with an external heart shield that she will wear moving forward to protect her heart as she grows. In a few years, Audrina will have surgery to place a more permanent protective shield inside her chest wall. She will be followed regularly by Dr. Carrie Altman and the cardiology team at Texas Children's Hospital.

Read more about Audrina's story and the surgery that saved her life.

Watch a video of Audrina's heart outside her chest (ectopia cordis).

Watch a video interview with the surgeons who saved Audrina's life.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.