The photograph was taken during a medical procedure to fix the spina bifida lesion of a 21-week-old fetus in the womb.


Those born with this defect can not walk or even sit up straight. But modern medicine works wonders, so that surgeons have undertaken to save the child.

They spent most complex fetal surgery, which was risky for the boy and his mother. Right in the middle of the operation from the womb of the woman seemed a tiny little hand boy, who grabbed the doctor's finger. This is a unique moment and captures the photographer, and the resulting image has become known throughout the world under the name of "Hand of Hope."





Samuel grew up. He is now 16 years old and the boy still has some problems with the spine, but it is a trifle compared with what he faced before.



Story behind the photograph

The photograph was taken during a medical procedure to fix the spina bifida lesion of a 21-week-old fetus in the womb. The operation was performed by a surgical team at Vanderbilt University inNashville. The team, Dr. Joseph Bruner and Dr. Noel Tulipan, had been developing a technique for correcting certain fetal problems in mid-pregnancy. Their procedure involved temporarily opening the uterus, draining the amniotic fluid, partially extracting and performing surgery on the tiny fetus, and then restoring the fetus to the uterus back inside the mother.