Odessa Regional Medical Center first noticed that Ashley Cardenas' baby had a problem when Cardenas was only 16 weeks pregnant.
The child -- Audrina -- had her heart forming outside her chest cavity.
The news left Ashley with an incredibly difficult choice: Abort the child , choose comfort care (where the hospital would comfort the baby until she died naturally after birth), or the only option that might save Audrina's life -- an extremely risky surgery at Texas Children's Hospital.
Cardenas ultimately chose to try the surgery.
"That was just something that, you know, after talking with family, after talking with friends and getting the support we need from the church that I would attend back in Odessa," said Cardenas. "If it was meant for her not to be here then [God] would either take her on his own while I was pregnant or it would happen once she was here."
Audrina was delivered by Caesarian section on October 15th.
The child was immediately put into surgery, which reconstructed Audrina's body and placed her heart inside her chest cavity.
Five weeks after the surgery, Audrina's long term prognosis is unclear -- but she is continuing to show progress in her recovery.
Because this condition is so rare -- and most children with it die shortly after birth -- doctors are monitoring Audrina everyday.
However, doctors hope that Audrina might soon be able to come home to Odessa.