Six-year-old Virsaviya Borun has been beating the odds her entire life, having been born with her heart and intestines outside her chest and abdomen. Virsaviya, a native of Russia who recently moved to South Florida with her mother, suffers from multiple birth defects caused by Pentalogy of Cantrell – a rare congenital condition that occurs in estimated 5.5 in one million live births.
Virsaviya’s heart, which is about the size of a fist, could be seen beating against her abdominal area, protected only by a thin layer of skin.
With her mum
Her intestines are also outside her body and she has no abdominal muscles or a diaphragm. ‘When I was pregnant, the doctor said she will not survive, that she is going to die,’ the girl’s mother, Dari Borun, told NBC Miami. Six years later, Virsaviya, who also goes by the biblical name Bathsheba, is a bright and lively girl who enjoys drawing ponies, attends art classes and loves dancing to Beyonce’s songs.
In early 2015, Ms Borun, who has been raising Virsaviya on her own, found a doctor at Boston’s Children’s Hospital willing to treat her rare ailment. Pentalogy of Cantrell often requires surgery, depending on the severity of the patient’s defects, and could be fatal if left untreated.