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Hand of Hope - Baby's thumbnail-sized hand flops out of of C-Section

by Oregon State Media, Inc. Sunday August 2, 2015    1:43 PM

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who was being operated on August 19, 1999 by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if he was removed from his mother's womb.

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.

Just as surgeon Dr. Joseph Bruner was closing the incision in Julie Armas' uterus, baby Samuel's thumbnail-sized hand flopped out. Bruner lifted it gently and tucked it back in.

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 little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. In a Time Europe article highlighting new pregnancy imagery that show the formation of major organs and other significant evidence of the formation of human life but a few days after conception, 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 a pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person." Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 per cent successful. Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome ... incredible.

Photo: Hand of Hope – A unborn baby grabs the hand of the surgeon from the incision made in the uterus of his mother during an operation.
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