John Smith
Tue Aug 21 23:02:46 2001


A picture began circulating in November.
In many people's opinions, it should be
proclaimed as "The Picture of the Year,"
or perhaps, "The 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 the 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.

In the procedure, a C-section removes the uterus
and the doctor 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 life...."

You can see the actual picture, and it is

bighand.gif (220819 bytes)


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