No one would’ve known that this child would become the poster child to support pro-lifers in their crusade to end partial birth abortions. But, while the picture was meant to tell a story of a child having a phenomenal surgery in utero to prevent a debilitating disorder, that miraculous story was lost.
The infant in this picture is Samuel Armas, who is now nearly 12-years old. His mother Julie Armas was made aware that her baby would be born with spina bifida and she agreed to a groundbreaking surgery that was to help prevent the effects of spina bifida in her son. The surgery, performed by Dr. Joseph Bruner, had a remarkable, yet controversial, outcome.
The legend told by photographer Michael Clancy about “The Fetal Hand Grasp,” that later came to be known as “The Hand of Hope,” was that during the surgery, August 19, 1999, little Sam reached his hand out of the uterus to grab the surgeon’s finger. But Dr. Bruner would tell reporters that both the mother and baby was under anesthesia and could not move. He somehow manipulated the baby’s hand around his finger when Clancy snapped the photo.
Sam and his mom are happy with the outcome, however it happened. Sam will walk with leg braces for the rest of his life, but he is a great swimmer and is enjoying his life. They feel that the picture has been so helpful for them and so many others that nothing else matters. Read here for more on the controversial picture.