Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fetal Surgery Picture

My friend found this picture with the article below and posted it on Facebook today. I don't know how I have never seen this one, but it is so amazing. Sorry if its a bit to graphic for some.
A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year,"... or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person" Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful. Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome...incredible....and hey, pass it on! The world needs to see this one!
By: Sean Keeling


  1. That is absolutely precious!

  2. Thank you for sharing this! I actually had seen this picture before, but I have no idea where I saw it. But, i did not know the story that went along with it. What an amazing story. And I especially love the emotion from the doctor. You just thing that doctors have "seen it all" and can just go through the motions of surgery, so it is so amazing to know that this little man reaching out and grabbing his finger overwhelmed him with emotion!! How incredibly sweet!! Thank you for sharing the picture, and the story.

    And congratulations on your new pregnancy as well! Very exciting. Wishing you a boring and uneventful pregnancy!!! ;0) (you know, as opposed to the rollercoasters that our last pregnancies were...)

  3. That is incredible. I was one of those who was totally ignorant to the process. Seeing that little hand just melts me.Wow!

  4. What a beautiful story and an amazing photo... such a miracle. Brought tears to my eyes... sounds like he does amazing work xoxo

  5. Wow, that's incredible. So heartwarming too. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ive seen it before and yes its so amazeing and heartfelt. I was also amazed that the sergeon could operate on a tiny baby through just a tiny hole in the uterus.

  7. This picture is so moving..I think especially for mothers like us who have lost their young ones.

  8. I have seen this picture before. It is SO incredible and beautiful! And shows that this is indeed a LIFE at 21 weeks, when lots of babies are aborted at that gestation.

  9. The photo is from the show House.


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