Doctors had advised Vanellope's mother to have an abortion. Vanellope is still on a ventilator as her organs fight for space inside her chest, but doctors believe she will soon go on to lead a normal and healthy life. "We know this is going to be a roller coaster and have started to prepare ourselves for the hard times ahead, but we needed to give her a chance, and the team here have done that", Wilkins said.
Within an hour of Vanellope's birth, a team of 50 staff swooped in to carry out the first of three operations, over several weeks, to put the baby's heart back into her chest, and give her a chance to live.
Baby Vanellope was discovered to have ectopia cordis, a condition where the heart is abnormally located either partially or totally outside of the chest.
Initially scheduled to be a Christmas baby, she was born prematurely a month ago, on November 22.
Over the next nine days, lying on her back in intensive care, Vanellope's heart gradually sank into the hole in her chest.
The operations included making space in her chest for the heart, as she did not have one. She said: "When Naomi was 13 weeks pregnant I received a call about the potential complications that had been identified by a sonographer in Nottingham".
A baby has been born with her heart outside her body, with awesome footage of her birth now being made public.
Dean Wilkins said: "She defying everything - it's beyond a miracle".
"When she cried, we cried".
Findlay said she felt so relieved when Vanellope came out of the womb crying.
Medical News Today reported on a March 2017 study that found six children born alive with the condition in the U.S. had survived to at least one, at least one of whom had a good quality of life, with two others living on a ventilator.
Vanellope - and her exposed beating red heart - was immediately wrapped in a sterile plastic bag and was whisked to the next team in an adjoining theatre.
East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre lead surgeon Branko Mimic said: "Cases such as Vanellope's, where everything else appears essentially normal, are even rarer, and whilst therefore it would seem more hopeful she will do well, it is therefore nearly impossible to be confident of this". The main concern with repositioning her heart was that the arteries and veins which bring blood to and from the heart were extremely elongated, and might become kinked and blocked when the heart was placed inside the chest wall.
The condition - ectopia cordis, is very rare, with only a few cases per million births, of which most are stillborn.
'We know this is going to be a rollercoaster and have started to prepare ourselves for the hard times ahead, but we needed to give her a chance, and the team here have done that.
Now three weeks old, the baby has "more strength than you could ever imagine", Wilkins, her father, said, according to BBC News.
"I genuinely didn't think my baby would survive, but the staff at Glenfield have been incredible".
The couple named their baby after a character in the film Wreck-it Ralph.
"Vanellope in the film is so stubborn and she turns into a princess at the end so it was so fitting".
"I did a quick Google search, as everyone does, and then more of a literature search but that didn't inform me an bad lot because there's not much to go on and the cases are all very different".