T Nation

Shared via Jamie Easton


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!
Sean Keeling

sent to me by Jamie



â?¢Surgeon Joseph Bruner: "Depending on your political point of view, this is either Samuel Armas reaching out of the uterus and touching the finger of a fellow human, or it's me pulling his hand out of the uterus ... which is what I did."




I don't think this is what KD was hoping to have happen.....

"The baby did not reach out," Bruner says. "The baby was anesthetized. The baby was not aware of what was going on." Quote from Dr Joseph Bruner.


Is "gross" an appropriate response here?


LF you are right ; ) I was just sharing a story after I had seen an email previously, many months ago. The amount of dribble coming from everyone is pretty funny lol! 'Gross' says Lift because it is a human life, where he once started = ]


Oh, the irony.


Thanks for posting the story and photo. It's a good reminder that life is very special.


So what if the baby didn't reach out. Notice the doctor referred to the boy as a baby. Dumb ass.


It is still a cool freaking picture.

Funny how things start on the interwbz!


It's a mutilated life. Sorry if I am too sensitive for you.


Nice to meet you, glad you go straight for the name calling.


It's an amazing surgical procedure and just the fact we can do that. Wish we would have had these abilities some 30 years ago.