This is an email that was circulating quite a while back (as far back as 1999 About.com claims). Today I have seen it again in the cyber world so I thought I would share it. It really is an amazing picture and makes me contemplate on the Greatness and Power of God. This truly is a miraculous picture.
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 paper, you probably will never see it. The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a 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. During 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.
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 my pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person" "The Hand" of the fetus. You can see the actual picture, and it is awesome...incredible.
Pass it on.. The world needs to see this one.
Hand of Hope – Analysis (About.com)
This amazing photo, taken by Michael Clancy and originally published inThe Tennessean and USA Today on September 7, 1999, is real and authentic. It “went viral” via forwarded email within weeks of its first appearance in newspapers.
The photo was taken during a surgery performed by Dr. Joseph Bruner and Dr. Noel Tulipan at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville on August 19, 1999 to treat a 21-week-old fetus for spina bifida. The operation was a success, and three months later a healthy Samuel Alexander Armas was delivered by C-section.
Some have questioned the accuracy of the assertion that the fetus actually reached out of the opening in the womb to grasp the surgeon’s finger. There are at least three different accounts of what happened at that moment, two of them from eyewitnesses:
- Viral text: “During 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.”
- Photographer Michael Clancy: “Samuel came out from under anesthesia too soon and thrust his clenched fist out of the surgical opening to his mother’s womb. In my opinion, Samuel was in pain. Dr. Joseph Bruner reached over and gently lifted Samuel’s hand, and Samuel reacted by squeezing the doctor’s finger.”
- 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.” (Quoted in The Tennessean, Jan. 9, 2000)
Perhaps it all boils down to semantics. Dr. Bruner has stated elsewhere that Samuel’s hand “appeared” in the uterine opening before he reached out and lifted it, lending credence to photographer Clancy’s version of events. In any case, although it appears the email does exaggerate when it says the fetus “reached … through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon’s finger,” something akin to that really did happen.
Such quibbles don’t lessen the impact of the photograph itself, which Dr. Bruner has described as “powerful” and Michael Clancy calls “miraculous.” It should come as no surprise that both the image and Samuel Armas’ success story have figured prominently in the abortion debate ever since.