Baby born with organs on wrong side of body defies odds
A little girl born with her organs on the wrong side of her body is surviving despite the odds being stacked against her.
PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA.
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A little girl born with her organs on the wrong side of her body is surviving despite the odds being stacked against her.

Doting parents Amelia (41) and Julian Moreno (35) from London were terrified when their daughter, Ria, began to turn blue less than two hours after she was delivered via an emergency C-section.

The couple, who’d been trying to conceive for five years, were then given the earth-shattering news that Ria had complex congenital heart disease and situs inverses – a condition that causes the organs to be back-to-front inside the body.

Situs inversus can’t be corrected with surgery and doctors didn’t think the new-born would survive.

But little Rita has miraculously defied the odds and pulled through. Her parents say you wouldn’t even know their “ray of sunshine” was ill.

“Even though we’re extremely lucky, Ria can deteriorate at any time so we always have to be vigilant,” her mom says.

Amelia, who was living in Qatar at the time, had a high-risk pregnancy because she suffers anaemia and had a caesarean at 42 weeks.

“Julian told the nurses that Ria’s legs were turning blue shortly after she was born. That’s when they hit the panic button,” Amelia says. “Her legs were blue because she wasn’t receiving blood or oxygen properly.”

At only seven days old, Ria had emergency surgery to have a stent fitted. Three weeks later she was discharged into the care of her parents.

The family returned to the UK in June, with Julian giving up his job working on luxury yachts to be there for his daughter.

But at the beginning of July, Ria was taken to hospital for a routine scan – which revealed her stents were failing and that she may not pull through. Shortly afterwards she was rushed into a theatre for emergency surgery.

“They told us she was going to die. That was a really dark moment,” Amelia says. “Lots of babies have heart conditions but Ria has all these conditions rolled into one.”

But, remarkably, the miracle tot defied the odds and is now back at home with her mom and dad.

“It surprises everyone who meets her how happy she is. She’s a little trooper and she’s got an amazing smile,” her mom says.

However, despite her condition improving, Amelia says she and Julian have to monitor Ria daily and can’t even risk putting her into contact with other babies in case she becomes ill.

“We have to monitor her with equipment each and every day,” Amelia says. “It’s horrible. The pressure is intense. It’s not normal parenthood.”

Ria’s long-term future is currently uncertain and the family are exploring options ranging from a heart transplant to heart surgery.

“We live on a knife’s edge,” Amelia says.

“They don’t know what’ll happen to her. The worst-case scenario is a heart transplant but the best-case scenario would be heart surgery. We’re living with this unknown element each and every day.”

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