Touched by an Unborn Child

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 U.S. 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 bifica 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-sections 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, 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 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, pas it on.  The world needs to see this one!


I saw this on Facebook and felt it was too precious not to pass on!

It is my opinion that Dr. Bruner has been given an indescribably, amazing gift.  I am not just talking about the gift he has been given as an amazing surgeon.  That gift is truly from God.  Dr. Bruner has helped countless babies by operating on them while in the womb.  Lord bless your heart Dr. Bruner.

As I looked at this little hand grasping the doctor’s finger, I also thought of how often we feel as vulnerable as that tiny little boy, and we grope around in our pain until we find the hand of God, and in faith we trust that He will get us through our toughest moment.

I am talking about the tiny hand that slipped out and grabbed his.  That gift will live with him forever.

By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013 ©


Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Life Lessons, Seeds of Inspirations, The Miraculous

8 responses to “Touched by an Unborn Child

  1. s. e. f.

    Don’t sensationalize this. Post the real story.

    • Dear s.e.f., I appreciate your statement. I did read the snopes account and the photoprapher’s disclaimer and encourage anyone to do so. I commend the photographer for giving us all a glimpse at the beauty of the unborn. I think it is abosulutly amazing that in this day and age we get to see life in the womb and that Little Samuel experienced such a miracle in this surgery to be able to live a healthy life. No matter how this is looked at, the fact still remains that a 21 week old baby’s hand is visible outside of the womb, and that God has given this surgeon a special gift of healing he got to pass on to this little one and the other babies he operated on. 🙂

  2. Wow, incredible! … and at just 21 weeks gestation ❤

  3. findingmyinnercourage

    Simply amazing!

  4. Important picture. I recently published a post on the topic called Choose Life: Defending Our Most Precious and Vulnerable Gifts.

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