Albino Baby Turtle, Born With Her Heart Outside Her Body, Is Tiny But Fearless

This tiny turtle is a BIG inspiration. Hope (aptly named) is an albino Pinkbelly Sideneck turtle. She was born with her heart outside her body. We call it, in humans, ectopia cordis, but in animals, there is no assigned name for it. It's a life-threatening genetic birth defect that is, by all accounts, a death sentence.

But Hope doesn't accept that and is fighting hard to live.

Hope's heart literally beats outside her shell. She's now living with Michael Aquilina in New Jersey, who is known as AquaMike on Instagram. Hope was given to him by a friend who believed Michael had the know-how and love to give Hope the best odds.


The tiny turtle moved in with Michael in November 2018. Despite her condition, she continues to amaze her dad every single day. Michael regularly posts updates on his Instagram page, amazing his followers by Hope's tenacity. The photos and videos of her tiny heart beating outside her body aren't just unique, they're truly amazing.

“Hope has impacted my life in so many ways it actually makes me emotional,” Aquilina said in comments obtained by the Daily Mail. “She's so small and so fragile, the most delicate thing but she's fearless.”

Hope– you keep on keeping on, you adorable little fighter!

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