Naseem Hasni was born with his heart outside of his chest.
Incredibly, he is recovering, thanks to his doctors' quick work and ingenuity.
His chances of survival were less than 50 percent.
Story of Survival
Three weeks ago Naseem Hasni was born with his heart outside of his body. It’s an extremely rare and dangerous condition called Ectopia Cordis.
"It was outside the skin, outside the chest wall, and beating and pumping and the bone here, the breast bone was absent. None of it was there," explains Dr. Eliot Rosenkrantz, Jackson Cardio-Thoracic surgeon.
During a routine ultrasound exam the defect was detected.
It was a shock to Naseem's mother, Michelle who has two other healthy children. “Just praying for him to be healthy. That he would overcome his issues; and so far he is doing good," she says.
"It was very fortunate that it was identified prior to birth. The reason being is that this problem that needs to be fixed surgically, if possible, almost immediately," explains Dr. Rosenkrantz.
Just hours after birth, surgeons covered the heart with gore-tex for protection, and then worked to put it in place.
"The first challenge is to get the heart to go back in to the chest. It isn't a matter of getting out a sterile shoe horn and putting it back in," says Dr. Rosenkrantz.
Naseem is now receiving intensive care at Holtz Children's Hospital.
"The next challenge for him is getting off the breathing machine. Without a sternum it is difficult to breathe so it takes time for that to settle in," explains Dr. Rosenkrantz.
Michelle's faith is helping her handle the challenges and keeping her hopeful. "The way I see it, God's not going to give me anything I can't handle. So I just thank him everyday that Naseem has made it this far and that he will have a good life ahead of him," she says.
In a few weeks, Naseem will be fitted with a protective piece of plastic to wear over his chest.
When he is about 6-months old, surgeons will graft pieces of his own ribs across his chest to create a sternum, or breastbone.
Naseem has become a holiday miracle for his family.
When he was born on Halloween, doctors were not sure he would survive until Thanksgiving.
Now, they believe he may be able to go home to spend his first Christmas with his family.