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Unbelievable story behind the famous “Hand of Hope” photo! 5/29/2016 •

In 1999, this photograph became breaking news across the world. In this picture a 21-week fetus puts his hand out of the mother’s uterus during a complicated operation and touches the surgeon’s finger. We decided to find out what has become of this baby by now.


During an ultrasonography Julie Armas, a pregnant woman from the USA, discovered that her baby had spina bifida, a defect that would never let the child walk or even sit. The fetus was then only 14 weeks old.

7 weeks later it was decided to perform a surgery in order to eliminate the terrible defect right in the mother’s uterus. Surgical team of Vanderbilt University in Nashville agreed to carry out this serious and difficult operation.

The risky surgery was going well when suddenly the fetus extended his tiny hand out of the intersection in the uterus and grasped the doctor by the finger as if asking for help. This unique and wonderful moment was captured by the photojournalist Michael Clancy who was taking photographs of the operation.

On December 2, 1999 Samuel Armas was successfully born. Thanks to the surgery the boy got a lucky chance to live normal and active life. This is how the boy looked at the age of 4 and 12:

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