by Megan Sheets
A baby who was born with her heart on the outside of her chest from a condition with only a 10 percent survival rate is thriving as she approaches her third birthday. Kieran Veitz, who turns three next month, has ectopia cordis, a congenital heart defect that occurs approximately 5.5 to 8 births per one million…After learning that she would be able to survive the ectopia cardis surgery, Caitlin and Brian geared up for a long road to delivery and an even longer road after. They uprooted their lives and moved 700 miles to Rochester, Minnesota, to receive treatment from a team of doctors led by Dr Joseph Dearani at the Mayo Clinic.
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Context: Caitlin Veitz lay on the operating table, anxious to see her tiny daughter, Kieran, who had just entered the world via emergency C-section. "I saw a glimpse of her face as they walked her by," Caitlin writes on a Facebook page devoted to Kieran. "I didn't know if I'd see her alive again." Kieran was born with a rare congenital heart defect, ectopia cordis, which causes the heart to develop outside the chest wall. Caitlin and her husband, Brian, learned about the condition at an ultrasound appointment during Caitlin's 20th week of pregnancy. "We didn't have any idea that anything like that could happen," Caitlin told Sharing Mayo Clinic in 2015. "It was scary. The odds were stacked against her." You can read more about her story in Mayo Clinic in the Loop or Sharing Mayo Clinic.