updated 1/3/2007 11:31:37 AM ET 2007-01-03T16:31:37

A 6-pound infant is recovering from a rare surgery in which doctors removed a racquetball-size tumor from her heart the day after she was born.

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Anne Therese Felts was in serious condition Wednesday, four days after undergoing the 2-hour surgery at Riley Hospital for Children, where doctors had been preparing for the operation since the tumor was discovered in October during a routine ultrasound.

Her parents, Paje and Chris Felts, said the past few weeks had been a “gigantic episode” in their lives.

“I cried a lot,” said Paje Felts, the little girl’s mother. “Of course, we were scared and upset.”

She said she’s been able to hold her daughter, who was born Thursday and is on a ventilator, only once.

Initial tests showed the tumor to be benign, and any microscopic tumor cells left behind generally won’t grow, said John Brown, chief of cardiac surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Her future should be very positive,” said Brown, who led the operating team.

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