Hand of Hope

On their site, (in)courage asked, What Hope looks like in our lives.  I was going to sit this one out, but then I received the following email from my aunt with a story that I could not NOT write about.  Even though I have no connection whatsoever to these people, THIS is what HOPE looks like to me……

This picture began circulating in November, last year.  It should be “The Picture of the Year, but it won’t be.  In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the US paper which published it, you probably would never see it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby, named Samuel Alexander ARmas, who is being operated on by surgeon, Joseph Bruner.

The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would neot survive if removed from his mother’s womb.  Little Samuel’s mother, Julie ARmas, is an obstertrics 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 he 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 say 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% succesful.

Hand of Hope


About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

4 responses to “Hand of Hope

  • @ngie

    My! That is wonderful!

  • Christine Smith

    This picture is beautiful and the doctor’s words touch my heart. Thank you for sharing this, since my friend had a baby born with Down Syndrome, even though her doctors told her to abort, she told the doctors that it was God’s decision, not hers. Tessa Joy was born and lived 49 days while we all prayed on our knees for this baby girl. At her celebration of life, we sent 49 pink balloons to Heaven. Her birth, not her abortion, changed lives. She is remembered for her beauty, her strength and for being a child of God. Aborted children are forgotten. This photo reminds us that every child is precious, perfectly formed by God. Thank you for sharing HOPE.

  • Jace

    this was beautiful.
    it made me cry.

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