January 23, 2012

How precious life is…

My high school friend just posted this on Facebook. It teared me up. How precious life is…
(please help me properly credit the photographer)

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.

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Comments (7)

  1. Okay this seriously had me bawling! How amazing and incredible! Thank you for sharing! Life truly is a miracle!

  2. Photojournalist Michael Clancy taken August 19, 1999

  3. The thing about that story is that the baby would not have been able to “reach his hand out and grasp” the doctor’s finger because he and the mother were both heavily sedated. Yes, the surgery happened, but that is not what happened in relation to the picture or ever.

  4. Wow! This is amazing!! TY for sharing!!

  5. I have a friend who had this same surgery at Vanderbilt about 6 years ago. Her little boy is such a wonder and is doing well 🙂

  6. This is so beautiful!! That brings a whole new meaning to the saying “life is precious”. That little hand is so precious!

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