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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Feb 9 06:41 PM

February 9, 2008: Tiny Hand Grasp

I got this picture and story in an email. Evidently it's been around awhile, even sparking an episode of the TV show, "House".
Anyway, I hadn't seen it and thought you may not have either.

Quote:
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!
Like I said, it's an email and may be bullshit, but the picture is pretty cool.


monster  Saturday Feb 9 06:58 PM

...........must....not....mention.....tiniest....goatse....evah......


oops.



monster  Saturday Feb 9 07:10 PM

Snopes says the surgery and the pic are real, but the surgeon was just tucking the unconscious baby's hand back in after it flopped out. No reaching out or grasping.

eta: a picture if Samuel when he was a few weeks old



Gravdigr  Sunday Feb 10 07:32 PM

Reminds me of the movie Alien...



glatt  Monday Feb 11 08:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Like I said, it's an email and may be bullshit, but the picture is pretty cool.
This one is familiar, and I remember there being some dispute about it. So I looked it up. Snopes says the e-mailed text is pretty much BS, but the picture is real.

The mother and baby were both under anesthesia, and the baby was gripping nothing. The arm flopped out during the surgery, and the doctor picked it up and put it back inside.

I had seen another version of this e-mail that was saying the baby shook the doctor's hand in thanks. They seem to have taken that paragraph out of this version of the e-mail, so it's not as wrong as it used to be, but it is still a little misleading.


monster  Monday Feb 11 09:26 PM

I totally killed this one....... sorry



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Feb 11 11:42 PM

The only part of it that appears to be bullshit is the grasping of the doc's hand. That seems to be a debate between the doc and photographer.

On the other hand (no pun), the story of them operating on a 20odd week old fetus, in the womb, and the photograph, are both amazing.



glatt  Tuesday Feb 12 09:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
The only part of it that appears to be bullshit is the grasping of the doc's hand. That seems to be a debate between the doc and photographer.

On the other hand (no pun), the story of them operating on a 20odd week old fetus, in the womb, and the photograph, are both amazing.
Yeah. The operation is pretty cool. I'm amazed that they can do any operations on unborn babies. Pretty damn impressive.

When I first saw this image it was being sent around as pro-life propaganda in the abortion debates, and the accompanying text contained outright lies. That's why I get ambivalent when I see the image again. The memory of that propaganda e-mail turns me off.

But the image is a powerful one. The tiny hand "gripping" the doctor's finger is great. I remembered it clearly from a couple years ago. I'll probably remember it for years to come. Good picture.


findpolitics  Tuesday Feb 12 09:53 AM

Here's the full story as told by the photographer ... the shots of the hand grasping, and his analyis of the ensueing controversy:

http://www.michaelclancy.com/story.html



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jun 7 10:58 PM

And 10 weeks later, Macie Hope McCartney was born.
Mother and child are doing fine.



Clodfobble  Saturday Jun 7 11:19 PM

I indirectly know that girl's parents, and have been receiving email updates throughout the pregnancy. It's really amazing, after the initial horrible diagnosis, everything went as perfectly as it possibly could have. The chances of that baby being alive at all, let alone perfectly healthy, were very, very small.



skysidhe  Sunday Jun 8 02:57 PM

That's a great photo and great story. Thanks for the links.

I like watching House but havn't seen that episode though btw.



Sundae  Sunday Jun 8 03:41 PM

I was annoyed by the spin put on it - medical science should not be hijacked to try to "prove" a soul, or the human spirit, or a Creator etc. Not specifically, but by association.

Then I read the photographer's POV and realised he wasn't pushing that agenda. All he wanted to do was defend the original narrative for his photographs, backed up by a very prosaic nurse's comment that, "They do that all the time".

I'm not sure what to think now, but at least the photo is extraordinary. What you miss on IoTD when you don't have access!



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