Girl born with heart on wrong side of body prepares for 8th birthday

A Romanian girl who was born with her heart located on the wrong side of her body is preparing to celebrate her eighth birthday this summer, Central European News (CEN) reported. The condition had only been seen in 35 babies and only 10 babies had survived before the girl’s birth.

When the 7-year-old was born, her heart was positioned on the right side of her body, and the major vessels connected to the organ were also in the wrong spot, which prompted a need for emergency surgery. Doctors in the Romanian capital of Bucharest turned the family away and predicted the girl, who was not named, wouldn’t live longer than one week.

“They told me there that here in Romania, ‘We don't fix scrap people,’ and there was nothing that could be done for her,” her father, 36-year-old Alexandru Conovaru, a well-known TV presenter in Romania, told CEN.

Conovaru told CEN that he and his partner, 28-year-old Oana Geambasu, refused to believe their little girl couldn’t be saved. They transported her to Germany, where she received the first of two life-saving surgeries. Doctors in Boston would later complete the third surgery on her.

CEN reported that as her heart grows, she likely will need corrective surgery on her veins and arteries at least two more times.

But today, the little girl is healthy and suffers only from hearing problems. Conovaru said his daughter is one of only two born with the condition who has been able to live a normal life without any obvious difficulties.

"All I ever wished for was what any parent wanted— which was for my daughter to be healthy,” Conovaru told CEN, “and I always knew that, because of her fighting spirit, she would make it.”