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Terminal baby saved by Google Cardboard

Google’s Cardboard VR viewer has helped save the life of a baby born with just one lung and a heart defect.

As reported by CNN, doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami used the cardboard device to plan an operation which saved Teegan Lexcen.

Following Teegan’s birth in August last year, medical staff at a hospital in Minnesota told her parents that there was nothing they could do to save her.

They sent the baby home with medication and a hospice nurse to make her comfortable.

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However, Teegan, who was born with one lung and the left half of her heart missing, was still alive after two months – prompting her parents to contact Dr Redmond Burke in Miami for a second opinion.

Burke, a pediatric cardiologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, asked a colleague to create a 3D render of Teegan’s heart.

Dr Juan Carlos Muniz, whose 3D Printer was broken, turned to Google Cardboard and an app called Sketchfab to create the images.

Related: 9 awesome virtual reality experiences

Google Cardboard allows anyone to turn their phone into a VR headset by encasing it in a cardboard viewer.

Using Google’s device, doctors could manoeuvre the newly rendered 3D heart and view it from every angle, allowing Dr Burke to plan the complicated surgery Teegan needed.

With the virtual render, Dr Burke was able to create a new surgery, planning each step and allowing him to manipulate Teegan’s one ventricle to do the work of two.

The baby’s mother Cassidy Lexcen told CNN: “It was mind-blowing. To see this little cardboard box and a phone, and to think this is what saved our daughter’s life.”

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