By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host

Subject: Fwd: Picture Of Baby In Mother’s Womb, Having Surgery For Spina Bifi
   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 US
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. 
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