(Click here to launch slideshow- Must See)
by  Michael Clancy, photojournalist: 

Thank you very much for visiting.  This site is dedicated to keeping the picture and story available.  If you want to use the picture to promote the Sanctity of Life please feel free to do so as long as it is not used for financial gain.

I apologize if you’ve tried to reach me.  My new career has me traveling extensively.  I maintained this site for 12 years and wrote my book to share the story.  It was never about me anyway. It’s a story about a little boy that changed everything!

If you must reach me I will answer email if/when I can.  Thank you very much for your patience.

The picture was taken on August 19, 1999, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tn., during an incredible procedure to correct spina bifida on an unborn child.  Julie Armas was twenty one weeks pregnant with little Samuel at the time of the procedure.

Please visit the links to the right and if you’re still looking for more information about the surgery/picture you can “Google” Samuel Armas.  My book, “Hand of Hope The Story Behind The Picture” is also available through Amazon or by clicking the link to the right.

I received so many request to speak publicly about my experience taking the picture I chose to end my career as a freelance newspaper photographer.  I shared my story at over 150 events in 3 countries from 2007 to 2012.  It was an incredible blessing taking the picture and being able to share my story with so many people over the years.

The story behind my picture was featured in the movie, “The Gift of Life,” hosted by Governor Mike Huckabee.  The World Premier, held in Des Moines, Iowa, on December 15, 2011.  It was a blessing and an unforgettable night to meet governor Huckabee and four Republican Presidential Contenders!

Blessings ………………   Michael Clancy


364 Responses to Blessed!

  1. Laurie says:

    Great photo

  2. Sue says:

    The amniotic sac is a very thin, transparent membrane. Obviously, in fetal surgery it is cut open along with the uterus. Since the doctor didn’t pull it from the uterus you wouldn’t be able to see it clearly…it is still inside. If you would like to see what it looks like outside the uterus you could easily google a picture of it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where’s the amniotic sac??? You know… The “bubble” the baby is PROTECTED in???

  4. Iris says:


    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a self centered, self-important, selfish post in my life. “I will not let my family be without ME!!! I will not deal with a major surgery, because it is too traumatic to ME, so I will abort (a major ‘surgery’ and quite traumatic for a baby in the womb, no doubt) my own child should I fail to contracept it because I’m not going to stop having sex just because I might have to murder the poor child that is the product when I’m not willing to risk ME!! I won’t have my husband have a vasectomy if I decide I’m ready to have another child by some other woman!!!! I’d rather murder my child in the womb that happened to come along at an inconvenient time for ME!!!! ME ME ME, I, I ,I , MY MY MY….

    Ever heard of tubal ligation? And hysterectomies don’t necessarily throw you into menopause, you know. Ovaries don’t have to be removed…

    And you accuse another of being offensive. I find your self-reverential attitude offensive. Think about someone else for a change. How can you look into the eyes of the two children you claim to be looking out for by not leaving them without wonderful YOU, and consider killing their possible sibling, when you could do something about it prior to ever being in the position to MURDER your child in the first place? If it happened, God forbid, it will be premeditated murder, since you’ve already decided to kill any child unfortunate enough to result from your selfish sexual activity.


    May God (THE ONLY ONE!) open your heart.

    Dear Michael Clancy,

    I apologize for using your blog to argue, but I couldn’t help myself. Actually, I could have, but in light of the ferocious attack on the kind Peache, I didn’t want to stop myself, especially inspired by the beauty of the miracle of life captured in your photograph, which Melissa would apparently judge less important than herself. God bless you.

  5. Grady,
    I apologize for taking so long to reply to your request. Please do use the picture.


    Michael Clancy

  6. It’s absolutely real! Michael Clancy

  7. WOW! Thank you Maryann for your dedication to the children. I will check out your FB page


    Michael Clancy

  8. Thank you Tammy, blessings to you and your family. Michael

  9. Dr. Joseph Bruner allowed me into his operating room as a member of the media ( representing USA Today). He wanted the publicity but when things didn’t go the way he’d planned he made the choice to deny what actually happened. He put himself in this position.

    Your statement, “And if staff didn’t want that photo taken, it shouldn’t have been taken.” clearly shows your position. This was experimental surgery on a child still in his mother’s womb. Dr. Bruner learned an invaluable lesson during this particular surgery. It wasn’t such a good idea to allow a photographer to be present.

    I’m happy for you that your experience with Dr. Bruner was a positive one. My experience with Dr. Bruner was quite different.

    Where is Dr. Bruner today? The “pioneer” of Maternal Fetal Surgery to correct Spina Bifida.


    Michael Clancy

  10. Eileen says:

    How funny I have never seen this until today! I have read thru all these posts and I am floored! Let me first say, I know Joe Bruner I have known Joe for quite a long time. He took care of me while I was pregnant with my Son Noah. This whole thing about Was Samuel really reaching out? Was this an Anesthetic failure ? Was it God ? what does it matter one way or the other? And if staff didn’t want that photo taken, it shouldn’t have been taken. Joe Bruner is an AWESOME Doctor ! and great Person. To see his name run thru the mud just disgusts me. You don’t know him, you have no idea who he is ! I had the privilege to know him and his family and spent a lot of time in his home and Office . You couldn’t ask for a better Dr. Seems to me, someone just wants CREDIT, but it ultimately has nothing to do with you, Samuel was used to get you in the limelight. How unfortunate.

  11. Tammy Jones says:


    My daughter was born with spins bifida 16 years ago and this picture is pinned to the wall of my mind forever. Thank you for inspiration.

    Tammy Jones

  12. Maryann Therese Ruelle says:

    Dear Mr. Clancy,
    First a confession, before seeing your admonision to email you for permission to use your photo to advance the ‘SANCTIY OF LIFE,’ I did use it on my FB site, in the aftermath of the Dr. Kermit Gosnell trial, on Tues. April 30th….the day jury deliberations are to begin.
    I am using this photo as part of a prayer campaign for the jurors to convict Dr. Gosnell of all the murders, but especially of those of the babies, as this is so vital to the ‘Fight for Life.’
    I hope this is alright. If you want me to remove your images, I will at your request.
    Thank you and God Bless you,
    Maryann Therese Ruelle
    FB page; Maryann Ruelle (from Ypsilanti, Michigan). if you wish to see how they have been used.

  13. Darrell Blackfish says:

    So is this real or is this picture from House M.D. episode Fetal Position

  14. Melissa says:


    You are very ignorant. Why do so many women die in childbirth if they have been so perfectly designed by G-d to be pregnant and give birth? I have two children, they are much loved, they both lived off of my body (i.e., were parasites) until they were born, and both pregnancies destroyed my body.

  15. Melissa says:

    This is a great photo. I have always been fascinated by images of children in utero. Whether it is a reflex or something more, well I must leave those determinations to those in the medical profession.

    In response to Peache,

    I find your comment SO SO SO offensive. I have two children, ages 1 and 3. I have been through blood transfusions, emergency surgery, and many continued health complications since my uterus ruptured (and was repaired) during the birth of my second child and, if I were to attempt to carry another child, it would most likely mean my death, and the death of the child, prior to the child being viable outside the womb. I barely survived the birth of my son one year ago.

    How could you so ignorantly comment that one would abort because they don’t think of their child as “human” when they might have to do so to save their own life?! Nobody is required to lay down their life to save another, it is not legislated and NEVER should be. That is why the decision to become/stay pregnant must always be the mother’s choice.

    I would love to have another child, or several, but I am NOT going to leave my two young children motherless and my husband a widower if by some chance, despite using birth control, I were to fall pregnant (what if I were to be raped, G-d forbid?). I will not have a hysterectomy at age 34 and deal with the health complications of yet another major surgery, AND menopause in addition to my multitude of other health problems, and I will not allow my husband to have a vasectomy in case we ever go through with our hope to have a biological child via a surrogate (should my health ever recover).

    You really should try to put yourself in the MOTHER’S shoes, not just the unborn child’s. Some women have to choose between their own life and the life of an unborn child. This is a gut wrenching decision that I hope never to have to make. And if I ever do…it is a decision that I will make with my doctor, my husband, and MY G-d, not YOUR G-d. My religion tells us that abortion is acceptable to save the life of the mother. YOU should do whatever your religion tells YOU to do with YOUR body but do not dare tell me what YOUR G-d says is permissible to do with MY LIFE, and with MY SPOUSE, and with MY body. And what of those who have no religion? You are going to force YOUR G-d on them as well??? Oh what? You say I’m selfish, misguided? Yes, by your standards, I probably am; I think I can do more to heal this world (Google “Tikkun Olam”) ALIVE than I can DEAD, with a dead baby in my womb, and leaving two toddlers without a mother.

    PS: glad everything worked out OK for your sister but for every 1 person that survives a pregnancy that a doctor says might cause their death, how many more go through with their pregnancy and die? Something to ponder, eh?

  16. Jason McCool says:

    First off, money is not the root of all evil. “The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (NIV), or “the root of all evil” (KJV). Either way, money itself is not evil, rather the greed for it. BIG difference.
    Secondly, Mr Clancy’s occupation was a photographer. That means he makes his money off of his ability to take better photos than the rest of us. So has he made money off of his photo? I would certainly hope so. It’s his job and it’s one of those once in a lifetime photos. Has he gotten filthy rich off of it? I doubt it.
    Finally, I’d like to point out that with all the “blessings” you are tired of, Mr Clancy has been EXTREMELY polite and Christlike in the face of insults and accusations. If I saw something like that happen right in front of me, I wouldn’t stop telling the story either. But being a person with a bit of a short fuse, I don’t think I could handle the negative feedback NEARLY as well as he does. He has modeled “turning the other cheek” and “praying for those who persecute you” far better than I could throughout this whole comments section.
    So for all the haters on here, lay off. For Mr. Clancy, you have the patience of Job, and may God richly bless you with all peace, joy, and yes, even earthly success. 🙂

  17. Grady Guntharp says:

    Michael, I have seen this several times and each time it still blesses me. Seeing God show that His creation is the miracle of life. My heart so hurts over people, who for the sake of one persons rights, are willing to sacrifice another person’s life. Scripture says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you. The minute the egg and sperm joined together as God planned, willed, and performed, there was in fact LIFE, period! Glorious life, that came from above. Having served on the Sav-A-Life, Pregancy Resource Center Board of Directors in Decatur, AL a few years ago, my heart is more concerned over insuring all babies have a right to life. Thanks for your work with this remarkable blessing from the Lord God. I want to use the picture on my Facebook pages and group. I will appreciate your permission, please.

  18. Pat says:

    Dear Mr. Clancy, I have been so blessed to come across your site today while looking for a good in-utero picture to post on our re-vamped website: (currently under construction). We are featuring our collaborative radio spots that we produced with Congressman Trent Franks back in the nineties. As you might know, Representative Franks is a relentless defender of the right to life. He has sponsored a bill to outlaw selective gender abortions – those abortions performed strictly to kill one gender or the other as is the custom in many parts of the world.

    These audio presentations, called Echoes of Freedom, are all the more relevant today and a number of them concern abortion and the personhood of the child in the womb.

    Rep. Franks’ delivery is compassionate and impactful.

    May I put a link to your home page from this site? Is it permissable to put the photo in as well?

    We are indebted to our dear Lord who put you in the right place at the right time. We pray for your continued strength in upholding and defending the ‘least of these”.

    The spirit of abortion has almost completely permeated the medical profession so, consequently, there will always be abortion-deniers and protectors in the ranks – even in the face of the most advanced medical equipment that absolutely prove the personhood of these small human beings. Someday, as demographics testify to an aging and unreplaced population resulting in collapsed economies and governments, the pro-abortion-choice people will be viewed as short-sighted, evil flat-earthers.

    Perhaps the deniers do not want to face the fact that the medical establishment that protects and pushes the abortion agenda will be the very ones to ‘care’ for them in their old age? May God help us all, Pat

  19. Thank you Beth. Michael

  20. Thank you! I’ll send you an email. Michael

  21. Thank you! I wish I could help you but I am a novice at web design. Michael

  22. Teresa Lynn says:

    Is this woman referring to the “baby patient” that the surgeon was helping? The safety and future health of this baby was what the surgeon was indeed trying to promote with his procedure. That’s right, Rachel, a little human patient with a beating heart. He reached out of his mother’s womb and has touched many people’s hearts! Michael, I saw this picture on an e-mail quite a while back and have never forgotten the image of that tiny hand touching the surgeon’s gloved finger! Powerful….God blessed you (and us) with your great timing that day!!

  23. articles says:

    it is really a hand the hopes to live, with so many abortions going on, one wonders if this little boy though that he was going to be next, instead he survive en lives. It bring tears to my eyes everytime.

  24. Beth says:

    First- I think this picture is remarkable. I use it in my teaching on fetal development in my psychology class.

    Second- I find it frustrating that the photo has created such controversy over abortion. Fetuses, like humans, have reflexes. In this case, the fetus in demonstrating that grasping reflex. Instead of using this picture to justify opinions on abortion, it can be used to show what impressive steps have been taken to improve the lives of children that would otherwise be born with potentially life altering disabilities. There is enough controversy over abortion. Bring people together over them impressive advancements in technology.

  25. olga gasanova says:

    i am doing a prolife essay against abortion. i have looked at the content of your information and pictures from your website. i especially like the places of the Bible (even though there is so much more explanation and proof in these verses that the fetus is a human and not only whatever others may call it.) anyways i was wondering if i may use your pictures and information for my essay. i would cite it and all. i would gladly appreciate it.

  26. Hi Debbie, Thank you for leaving a comment. Please do post the picture on your blog. Blessings, Michael

  27. Debbie says:

    I’ve had this picture taped to my printer for several years. I was a volunteer peer counselor. I’ve just finished a children’s fantasy novel. May I upload this picture to my blog and give your credits?

  28. Donnie Moore says:

    If you ever have any children especially when they are born, (I have 5) sleep in the bed and was holding them, they would grab your hands, arm, index finger and etc.. yet they are still asleep. Point is, they don’t know they are holding my hands. Babies do move around in the fetus, they kick, they punch, in this photo it was just SO HAPPEN the baby put his hands out (stretching possibly?). I’ve known Dr. Bruner personally and have done many work for him. He has never brag about this…He did tell me that YES the baby arm came out when I asked him. He went to carefully place the arm back into the fetus so he could position the baby with is exposed SPINE for the doctor to perform the procedure. The baby SO HAPPENS grab his finger ( latex) So he posed for a moment….

  29. Leslie says:

    I think that’s his point. Even under anesthesia, a baby that is only 21 wks in utero can grip a doctor’s finger. That, obviously, means that they can feel what’s happening around them, which must mean they can feel when something is happening to them(such as pain during abortions).

  30. cstex says:

    My grand-daughter was born 11 years ago and she had this operation. There is no doubt that it helped her brain develpment and her quality of life.
    I don’t get what Mr. Clancy is getting to. if his objective is to condem these doctors for performing this operation because they might hurt the baby , it is total misguided. If the baby feels pain at 20 weeks than it means it is a human being and not a blob of tissue. Of course this operation is painful for the baby AND the mother but it is done to improve the life of the baby. Imaging what the baby feels during an abortion? why doesn’t he question that procedure and send the emails and contact names of all the abortionist? These Doctors should be commended for their courage and devotion to improving the lives of these beautiful babies. On behalf of the thousands of relatives of these babies , I honor Dr. Brunner and Dr. Tulipan for their dedication, may God bless them for what they are doing.

  31. Virginia says:

    Ellesar, before you go off, how about learning to spell. Just let the photo speak for itself. I could never have an abortion myself, but I don’t have the right to decied for others either. We all answer to a higher power in the end.

  32. adham says:

    is really amazing ………….
    great job

  33. Emma says:

    It’s not ‘either/or’! An embryo is a human, and a fetus is a human. Just like a child is a human and an adult is a human. The four things are just at different stages of human life.

  34. Mary Hetrick says:

    Oh, and yes I am a Christian and yes I am pro-life. And I absolutely love the photo!

  35. Mary Hetrick says:

    Why instead of acknowledging the real issue everyone is having (you? profiting from something that is obviously a miracle from God since you claim to be a christian and money “is” the rot of all evil, you insist on focusing on little mistakes in posts such as this? So what it’s life improvement, not life saving. And enough with the God bless you.. Answer the question.. Do you donate any of the profits to the pro-life cause or even to the church (besides tithing) What about to the precious child who is making you all this money or increasing your fame? Or is it all improving YOUR quality of life. And before anyone tells me that you OWN THE COPYRIGHTS, my daughter is a model so I am well aware of this. Did you give them rights to use the photo for their own gain? What was the agreement? Did you have exclusive rights to the photo from the doctor and the family since the unborn fetus IS actually a tiny underage human and they are the parents wouldn’t you need permission to photograph the child? I bet you had permission to photograph the surgery but I don’t think anyone counted on the appearance of the minor child. If not then ALL OF THE profits you have made revert back to the child’s parents, don’t they???

  36. Mary Hetrick says:

    That is the POINT nobody ever brings up.. Has anyone ever checked to see if any of the judges supporting abortion rights ever convicted someone for murder of a woman’s “unborn ” child? Bet not..

  37. Mary Hetrick says:

    Confused?? You state that you don’t understand how this picture is relevant to the abortion controversy.. It has everything to do with it.. People (even my husband) say that life doesn’t start until the baby is born. Obviously to anyone with eyes and are not so deadset and stubborn this fetus IS reaching out and grabbing the Dr.s hand.. Only people who have never been attached to something soo precious as a newborn baby would say that it is only a reflex action..

  38. Mary Hetrick says:

    If you still haven’t gotten the book, try getting it digitally. Amazon and Nook are amazing!

  39. Mary Hetrick says:

    I’m just curious how people like you can justify abortion? What if Abraham Lincoln’s mother had aborted him? George Washington? Rosa Parks and your own mother ?? God knows what he is doing.. Every soul he sends us has a purpose. It is not up to mankind to decide who has a chance at life.

  40. Mia says:

    Michael this picture is undeniable. It’s not just a fetus arm hanging out of the womb, it’s a human hand reaching out for another one. I look at this photo and it inspires me to continue pursuing medicine myself. I can only hope I can be part of a moment this beautiful.

    It’s been years since I first saw this photograph and every time I see it I still am awestruck. The perfect timing of the moment and the fact that it was captured on picture… The whole thing is masterfully designed by God. No matter what people may say on either side of the debate about life, when you look at this picture and see that little hand grasping the other – it’s more effective than any debate in asking people to rethink when they consider a person a person. You cannot look at that photo and not be affected by it.

    Thank you for your courage and conviction. I hope that one day I can have the kind of courage to speak up for the truth the way you continue to do.

    God bless you

  41. victoria says:

    Im doing a paper going against abortion and i wanna know if you believe it is definatley a human and not a embryo or fetus

  42. Dave, Wow! Your comment left me speechless. That doesn’t happen often. I apologize for not responding sooner but I was truly blessed by your words. Taking the picture made me feel exactly the same way and I now know what a terrible mistake we’ve made. Thank you …………… Michael

  43. Thank you Melissa! In God’s Time, it will be, Michael

  44. Dear Mona, Thank you so very much for your kind words and your prayers. It was a blessing meeting everyone in Woodland. To have had such a gift to share as the picture has been more than I could ever have dreamed. It makes me sad and excited to move on to the next phase of my life. Blessings, Michael.

  45. Mona Grandberg says:

    Thank you and may God protect and bless you Michael for speaking and sacrificing so much to show the truth by sharing your photo’s and the story of baby Samuel reaching out and everything that has followed. What an incredible journey and intense spiritual battle. I got to see you present at the Woodland banquet this evening and I am so grateful to have been invited. Heading over to Amazon-dot-com to get your book and I am praying for your safety, your health, your marriage and your next steps in the journey, wherever they may lead. Very moved when you stated, “God uses a wretch like me” and gave Him all the glory for revealing the miraculous hand and placing you in the right place at the right time to take the photos. Committed to praying for you and for those doctors and for all the mothers out there; thank you for the inspiration. Thanking God in advance for lives saved; mothers blessed with healthy, whole babies; and eyes continuing to open to the truth. Psalm 139 all the way!

  46. Thank you Jeff. It was great meeting you! Michael

  47. Dear Betty, Thank you for your comment. I would truly love it if we were related. All I know is my “people” did come to the US from Ireland. Someday I will visit. Blessings, Michael

  48. Kate says:

    Actually. Pro-choice means protecting a womens choice. Also, would everyone repeat after me Fetus is not a baby. Abortions aren’t legal im many states after 21 week. This photo was taken at 22 when the fetus can live on it’s own. “pro-life” is actually “anti-choice” they ARE taking that choice away from a women. I’m pro-choice. Yes i think abortion is wrong, yet it’s not my place to say that everyone has to live by my rules.

  49. Betty Lincoln Mason says:

    Great testimony of the power of God! Thanks for sharing. I came upon this when searching for my Great Great Grandfather Michael Clancy Born in Ireland 1840. By chance maybe. I am pro life and Catholic. Very proud of your work. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Melissa says:

    God didn’t make a mistake when He let you see that. He’s revealing the truth. Abortion is a sad crime and it needs to be addressed.

  51. Mike Martin says:

    Ellesar, what is the ontological status of a grandmother in the throes of pain and on morphine, a ventilator and the constant caare of doctors? Think she knows what is going on? Would it compel you to “pull the plug” because she has no awareness of her surroundings?
    Fact is, from conception forward, the “foetus” will develop sequentially and continuously if unimpeded. A newborn baby is fully dependent upon the care of mother and/or medical staff and no one makes a decision to snuff the baby because it is unaware of its surroundings.

  52. Jeff Jones says:

    Mr.Clancy thanks so much for sharing your story in Toledo Ohio at the Spring For Life dinner. I was honored to have been able to photography you at this event! Here is a link to the photos I captured of you.

    Many Blessings,
    Jeff Jones

  53. Marie Kesteleyn says:

    Voici la traduction,


    MAIN DU FOETUS à voir absolument

    La photo qui suit a commencé à circuler en novembre… Elle aurait dû être ‘l’image de l’année’, ou peut-être,’l’image de la décennie’.
    > > > En fait, à moins que vous ayez obtenu une copie du document édité aux USA,
    vous ne pouvez probablement pas l’avoir vue.
    > > > L’image est celle d’un bébé de 21 semaines, Samuel Alexandre Armas,
    opéré par le chirurgien Joseph Bruner..
    > > > Le diagnostic prénatal avait révélé une spina-bifida, grave malformation
    de la colonne vertébrale.
    > > > La mère du petit Samuel, Julie Armas, infirmière en obstétrique à Atlanta,connaissait le remarquable procédé chirurgical du Dr. Bruner, du Centre Médical Universitaire de Vanderbilt, à Nashville.
    > > > Il effectue ses opérations sur le bébé dans l’utérus maternel.
    > > > La technique consiste à sortir l’utérus de l’abdomen de la mère et d’y faire une petite incision pour pratiquer l’opération.
    > > > Pendant que le Dr. Bruner opérait… le bébé a sorti par l’incision sa main minuscule,mais entièrement développée, et a fermement saisi le doigt du chirurgien.
    > > > Le Dr. Bruner a décrit cela comme le moment le plus émouvant de sa vie, et pendant un instant il est resté totalement immobile.
    > > > Le photographe a capturé cet événement étonnant avec une clarté parfaite.
    > > > Les journalistes ont intitulé l’image ‘main de l’espoir’.
    > > > Le texte expliquant l’image commence par :
    > > > « La main minuscule du foetus de 21 semaines de Samuel Alexandre Armasémerge de l’utérus de sa mère pour saisir le doigt de Dr. Joseph Bruner comme pour remercier le Docteur du cadeau de la vie qu’il lui faisait’..
    > > > La mère du petit Samuel a dit avoir pleuré pendant des jours quand elle vu la photo.
    > > > Samuel est né en parfaite santé, l’opération ayant réussi à 100%.
    > > >
    > > >

  54. Dave says:

    I heard about this story when you were on Steve Deace’s show the other night. Now I’m not religious nor did I have a true opinion on the pro-life/pro-choice issue considering I’m a single man with no kids. I’m neither liberal nor conservative as I have viewpoints, morals and beliefs that would clash with either side. Upon hearing your story and visiting this page, it hit home strong and I can safely say that I now do have an opinion. Whether people use contraception/protection can be debated to death, but there’s always been something in the back of my mind that just screams ‘wrong!’ whenever I hear about an aborted child no matter how far into the pregnancy. I always hear about the ‘when does life begin’ arguments and to be honest, I’ve always felt that it should be considered as beginning at conception, even though we may not see it until the actual birth. Very simple idea that we all know is that it only takes one time to happen, especially if the stars (or in this case, reproductive processes) are aligned just right.

    Your story ended any argument for me personally. And I think that doctor was completely wrong to deny your story when he likely sees things like this more often than he lets on. Whether it only happened once and it was considered mere coincidence or not, it made one thing perfectly clear: The child was aware enough to react, even if it was instinctively. And that demonstrates that Samuel was clearly a living, breathing, person even before he was born.

  55. soso says:

    what i can say ….
    subhanallah “thanks god

  56. Dear Rachel,

    It was absolutely not possible that I did anything to interfere with the procedure or endanger the safety of the patient. I stood exactly where I was told to stand with a lens that allowed me a close-up view without moving.

    As I’ve stated previously this picture elicits different emotions from the viewer. As you can see in the previous comments you’re not the first to attack me. Your entitled to your opinion. Since you weren’t there thats exactly what it is.

    Thank you for your comment.

  57. Dear Erica,

    Thank you!

    Please visit the Recent News page on my website and the Blogroll on my homepage. There are many links to articles about Samuel in the Blogroll. It’s been a blessing.

  58. Erika Strassburger says:

    That’s an amazing picture!!! I just saw it on FB a Brazilian friend. I’m Brazilian too!

    Have you heard about Samuel again? How is him?

    Congratulations on your beautiful work! It is a pity that it took all this trouble! It should have been a large magazine cover! Both the doctor and you should have been recognized for the great work!

  59. rachel greene says:

    Have you considered the fact that perhaps the medical team did not want the picture taken because you would interfere with the procedure? Obviously, the hand came out, and whether it was Samuel reaching out or an involuntary reflex of the (alive and deserving of life) fetus, it was unexpected and therefore the medical team had to respond to keep the surgery on track and the fetus safe.
    Yes the photo is amazing, but don’t exaggerate. The patient’s safety, not the photographer’s shot, is the priority.

  60. Merci à vous deux pour vos commentaires. Je utiliser Google Translate outils pour traduire un site Web entier.

  61. Dear Christine,

    I apologize for not seeing your post sooner.

    I am not a medical professional, just a photographer inspired by an a unborn child. I’m upset that Dr. Bruner would invite me into his operating room and lie about the events that took place.

    This procedure is not a cure for spina bifida. The removal of fluid built up on Samuel’s brain during the surgery did alleviate his condition of hydrocephalus, associated with spina bifida. The doctors will never know if the extent of his disability was benefited by the procedure other than that.

    I agree with you completely that children should not be aborted because they are diagnosed with an “abnormality.”

    As long as abortion on demand continues our society is doomed.

  62. Dear Ellesar,

    I was attacked in the operating room by a member of the medical staff in an attempt to stop me from capturing the picture. This alone would lead one to believe something was happening the medical staff didn’t want captured on film. I am not implying or arguing anything. The child came out from under the anesthesia before the surgery was over. His fist came, with force, through the surgical opening and flailed back and forth. It’s absolutely ludicrous to say I claim the fetus “knew” anything. I claim nothing of the sort.

    The picture speaks for itself and people interpret it’s message as they choose.

    Thank you for your time.

  63. Ellesar says:

    From the way you have written this I surmise that you are arguing that this is proof of a foetuses sentience. I must admit I do not see how this proves it at all. A limb moving under anaesthesia is hardly extraordinary, and to imply that the foetus somehow knew what was going on and this arm gesture is somehow asking for help just seems mad to me. Whether anti abortion or pro choice there is no point trying to argue that foetuses know what the adults are doing!

  64. Christine says:

    I heard about this story many years ago and thought it was the most amazing and powerful picture. Yes a picture does speak a thousand words and this one screams: “I am a human being, with reflexes and feelings.” It also raises the question, if spina bifida can be cured in-utero, what else can? This should put a stop to aborting “abnormal” babies and hopefully be enough of a point to put an end to eugenics leading to abortion. If eugenics could be used, accurately as is still not the case, and “abnormalities” (as it were) fixed in-utero, there would be NO excuses to up hold abortion. I admin a “debate” page on facebook, The Truth and Life Debate Center, and was wondering if I could post this article on it as an amazing fact indicating that in-utero surgery could be a life saver instead of automatically going the “easy” way and aborting the baby. I was also wondering if you, or any other medical professional that you know might be interested, in posting a comment, article, anything you would like, on the debate page! Thank you!
    Admin for Truth and Life Debate Center

  65. Augustinus Michael says:

    Bonjour je suis arrivé par hasard sur votre site internet mais ne parlant pas très bien l’anglais je n’ai pas trop comprit l’histoire si vous pouviez avoir l’amabilité de m’expliquer cela en francais j’en serais ravi. en tout cas c’est une très belle photo

  66. Ben says:

    You do realise the baby and mothers circulation is joined right?

  67. Dear Tuong,

    Thank you very much for your comment. I am honored to provide you with a copy of the picture for your publication and I will forward a file to you through email. I’d love it if you would post a link to the publication of the picture in your newspaper here for others to follow, if possible.


  68. Tuong Linh Nguyen says:

    Dear Mr Micheal,

    The first time (just minute ago) i saw your picture and was like somebody’s hand squeezed my heart. wow! what a great thing.
    Thanks Mr Micheal.
    I’m also a photographer for a Vietnamese Newspaper based at San Jose, California.
    I would like to spread this story to our Vietnamese readers. Can i use your pictures for covering the article? We will translate it to our languague.
    My contact number is 408-437-9006

    Thank you so much Mr Micheal Clansy
    and God bless you.

    Tuong Linh Nguyen

  69. Mel says:

    I just saw your story on facebook. I believe you, that is not a relaxed anesthetized hand it obviously got some muscles activated. I also doubt they would have known the exact weight of the baby to know the exact amount of anesthetic to use and would definitely be very cautious to use less rather than more. But regardless that is a little persons hand and it is so sad that many people don’t recognize that it is a real person inside them and choose to kill them.

  70. Michelle says:

    Robert Cooper- YOU should be ashamed of yourself. You’re actually comparing a baby to a bug?

  71. Dear Jane,

    You’re too kind. I’m only doing the right thing. Samuel came out from under the anesthesia too soon and for a fleeting moment felt pain. Demonstrated by his flailing arm being thrust through the surgical opening. Please do put the picture on your web site and I will email a copy to you.



  72. Jane Doe says:

    Michael, what an amazing and brave person you are. You are a soldier for Christ. The devil is such a liar and he uses weak souls to spread his LIES. Can I use your picture on my website? I may decide to put your link and talk about the information on your website. My website is not complete. I just created my website this week.

  73. Dear Anna,

    Thank you for taking the time to post here and for your kind words.

    People absolutely would read such a book. I would be honored to give it a review and volunteer the picture for your cover. Let me know when you have it finished!

    Have a blessed weekend!


  74. Anna Hanson says:

    This is such a truly amazing picture! God works in such mysterious ways, it must have God that did such a wonderful miracle. Thank you for clearing this all up, I love to hear the both viewpoints of the story instead of just one and accept that as the truth. I was thinking for perhaps the cover of a book I indent on writing someday, I would use this picture with this title: “Miracles Do Happen” and it would be full of stories of miracles. I was considering doing it but I am not sure whether anyone would read such a book. However if I do write and have it published, would you mind reading it then reviewing it?! Thanks.

    God Bless You!!
    A Sister In Christ

  75. Dear James,

    Thank you for your comment. Snopes denies my account of Samuel reaching from the womb. They quote Dr. Bruner’s claim that Samuel and his mother were under anesthesia ……… Otherwise I would search the web for Samuel Armas, or Dr. Joseph Bruner. I have seen comments like the ones you mentioned over the years but I don’t have the links. My pictures are pretty self explanatory and it’s difficult to deny them. Of course Dr. Bruner has refused to comment publicly about the surgery for the past eleven years.

    Thank you again and I’d love to read your paper!


  76. Dear Samira,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. God through prayer can heal all wounds Samira.

    I’m not a doctor and cannot advise regarding the steps necessary to have a healthy baby but there is valuable information on the web. I do know that folic acid is important to take before and during pregnancy. I’m sorry I don’t have any information about doctors in India.

    I wish I could be of more assistance. I will keep you and your sister in my prayers.


  77. Samira says:

    My sister before 2 months have terminated her baby who had spine bifada with meningsule and hydrasplous, doctors have strongly recommended that she should not keep this child as may not survive or may be mentally retarded. My sister was 7 months pregranant, this was her 1st child. Now she is trauma and its very difficult for us to get her back to normal like.

    Request you to help and advice for some councelling for her in Mumbai, India. Also kindly advice now if they are going for 2nd option, wheather they will have their 2nd child also get affected, is there anything they need to take care for this, I really request you to advice suitable doctor in Mumbai, India.

  78. James says:

    I have been researching this story extensively because I am writing a argumentative paper for my college. This story and picture is such a huge point of controversy and persuasion I wanted to write about it. I have been searching for quotes that deny this picture, or the hand in it being a living human. I don’t even know if if there is such a quote but I would love to have one and the website it is from if such a quote is out there.
    Thanks for posting!
    James 🙂

  79. Dear Craig,

    Thank you for taking the time to post so eloquent a message. I truly believe the world will mourn this terrible loss someday. The question is, how much longer will we allow the murder of innocent children to continue?



  80. Craig says:

    Just a note here. Since Roe v. Wade, over 50 million different family lines have been wiped out… FOREVER. 50 million families that never got the chance to exist, to laugh, to play, to love one another, to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on this world, and yes to even have been one or more of my best friends in life. Over hundreds of millions of children and grandchildren of those 50 million families that never got the chance to even be conceived. Why? Because “I” said so.

    God, the One who made us, said it this way:

    “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Gen 1)

    God also said, “And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. ” (Gen 9)

  81. Dear Himer,

    Your comment says a lot about your character. I’m sorry you think of yourself as some sideline with a camera. Maybe photography isn’t for you. You will never capture the peak moment of an assignment if you’re not, “aware of exactly what is happening.”

    Be Blessed,

    Michael Clancy

  82. Himer says:

    Being a photographer myself, and knowing many, I’m more inclined to believe the man who performed this amazing surgery than some sideline with a camera. As is often the case, the photographer isn’t exactly aware of exactly what is happening, and is relying on their instincts to capture what they can. You would have had your attention split between your equipment, while the doctor would have been focused on his patient.

  83. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your post.

    It’s been a tremendous blessing to be the guy that took this picture. It’s also been a real eye opener how Bruner and Vanderbilt chose to deny the moment. Even after they knew I captured it perfectly. I have to believe the truth will be told. It’ll happen again or an honorable person will come forward.

    Blessings to you and yours,


  84. Dear Peache,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to post on my blog.

    I really appreciate your helping me share the story. I’m so glad everything worked out for your sister and her son.



  85. peache smith says:

    I was completely amazed to hear your story on AFR a few days ago, I have told everyone. I have a sister that got pregnant while she had diabetes, the doctor and her husband felt given her medically condition she should abort. She refused. The doctor said she would not survive the birth, But 25 years later she is fine and her son is a wonderful young man. Thank you for posting this picture and your work. I don’t understand how one can just allow a human being to be murdered but because they are not considered human I guess.

  86. Bill Treadway says:

    I heard your story on AFR radio today and was so proud that a fellow photographer was touched by one of his own images that could change the future of the baby killing industry. Over 50 Million babies have died since Roe V Wade. Until we stop this we will never fix our Nation. I heard in your voice today, that this event has changed you as a human being. Your image was not by chance and the truth is out. The Bible says those who believe in the truth will be persecuted and I could only image the things that you have had to deal with since you took those 4 amazing photographs. It is such a pleasure to see one stand up for the truth. I am a Tennessean who now lives in Va. and it hurts to know that such a former distinguished university has taken such a deceitful and ungodly stand.
    God Bless You and Your Family.

  87. robert cooper says:

    I dont understand what anyones point is. Please explain what conscious shocking cascading catharsis is going on what so ever. A kid had surgery, in the womb; it was not Jacob reaching across the stargate threshhold from the nether regions making a touchdown on the otherside of a vigina surpassing Esau, It was just a grasp of a little baby grabbing everything as we all know they do. So what? Really?!!! SO WHAT!!! WHAT IS THE POINT??? A bug wll do the same thing.

  88. Dear Susan,

    Thank you for taking the time to post on my blog.

    You inspired me to post a new page on my site- “Recent News.” Please visit it and you will see an extremely recent pic of Samuel! Also visit the links on my home page, there is much more info about Samuel and his family there than I could possibly tell you here.



  89. Susan says:

    Hi Michael!

    LOVE that picture-worth more than a thousand words!

    Do we know how Samuel and his family are faring today? Are they or have they been willing to share their own story?

    Just wondering because on the other side of this same coin abortion survivor Gianna Jessen is also ‘out there’ sharing her own story.

    Thanks and many blessings to you in and for your continued work!

  90. Dear Paula,

    Thank you for taking the time to post to my blog.

    It is amazing how emotional some people have become when they sat down to type a comment to me. I took a picture, it affected me and I want to share it with everyone. When I am hosted as a speaker they usually want to hear what I have to say. That is why I wrote my book. It is a great story.


    Michael Clancy

  91. Dear Morgan,

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Thank you for taking the time to post to my blog.

    Every life is special and I appreciate very much your sharing how you came to see the picture. Samuel is a HERO for the unborn and deserves credit for what happened that day. That’s another reason why I have fought so hard for the truth to be known.


    Michael Clancy

  92. Dear Alex,

    Thank you for taking the time to post to my blog.

    The pictures do speak for themselves but Dr. Bruner chose to deny the truth, Samuel simply came out from under the anesthesia too soon. Not only that but the fourth frame of the slideshow clearly shows Bruner frantically waving his right hand for someone to stop me, and subsequently I was grabbed in a failed attempt to stop me from getting the picture.


    Michael Clancy

  93. Dear Drusilla,

    Thank you very much for posting to my blog, and for your kind words.

    It’s been an honor to fight for this picture. It’s important, and maybe the most important aspect of the story is the lengths Dr. Bruner went to to keep the truth from being known.

    Please don’t think last year was bad. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams.



  94. Dear Katie,

    Thank you for taking the time to post on my blog.

    I’m not a doctor so I can’t answer your question regarding pain in that context. As a professional photographer, witnessing Samuel reach out, … he absolutely came out from under the anesthesia and felt pain.

    You are making a great investment in yourself by attending school. Good for you!

    I too am in awe of the medical profession and the technological advances such as the surgery I photographed. It’s too bad Dr. Bruner chose to deny the picture and cast doubt on the fetal surgery team at Vanderbilt. He would be more famous now than he could ever have imagined.


    Michael Clancy

  95. Katie Champagne says:


  96. Katie Champagne says:

    Absolutely breathtaking!!! I’m in school to become a Medical Assistanr! Nothing is better than seeing and hearing these types of stories!! What an amazing feeling you must of had during that surgery!! My question is if the baby was coming out of anesthesia did he/she experience any sort of pain from the procedure? I’d give anything to work around situations like that! The Medical field constantly leaves me in awe!! I LIVE what I’m doing and know my 4 kids will be happy! I’ll be happy to finally be above poverty level…LOL!! Forward or send me any medical stories such as this!! And please know I find no joy seeing someone hurt I’m only in this to help save a life or make someone feel better!! Your a genius & it’s my pleasure to of been able to write to you!! Hope you get this !! Sincerely, Katie Champagne;)

  97. Drusilla says:

    Mr. Clancy, I thank you for having the guts to share your experience as well as the extraordinary picture. Whether they (doctors) realize it or not, God blessed them with the ability to perform a successful surgery. Yes, they physically performed the surgery but God is ultimately in control. It saddens me to read some of the responses/excuses of why others believe the baby reached from out of his mothers womb. We should accept it for what it is………God’s beautiful creation! May He continue to strengthen you and equip you to carry forward. I love your responses to even the most negative postings, says a lot about your character. God bless you Mr. Clancy! Hope this year is better than the last!

    Prayer warrior,

  98. Alex says:

    Sorry but I still don’t understand how a surgical procedure to correct foetal problems in mid-pregnancy is related to abortion. Is it because the stillborn baby theoretically reached his hand? Do opponents of abortion want to prove that a stillborn baby can feel pain, emotions, etc. Of course they can feel!! I don’t think that a photo is needed to prove it.

    Now, regarding the baby reaching his hand out the womb, I have doubts about what actually happened. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Michael is telling lies. The photo is pretty clear and no one could prove that the image was a hoax. What I mean is that the baby and his mother were under anaesthesia and could not move. Even if Samuel came out from under the anaesthetics too soon, he would have been too weak to move. As most people know, you are not fully awake when the anaesthesia starts wearing off. And if this would have happened, can you imagine the pain it would have cause to the mother and the baby. The photos speak for themselves.

    I think Michael saw what he saw and captured with his camera, the baby grabbing the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner. Somehow, Samuel’s hand emerged from his mother’s uterus. Maybe just a muscular reflex?. This is a nice and interesting story but I don’t see the importance of proving that the baby actually “grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life”.

    The surgical team at Vanderbilt University in Nashville have been doing a great job performing successful surgeries on unborn babies. Michael Clancy has been doing a great job in the photography and media industry. Different anti-abortion groups have been doing a great job taking up their cause to protect the rights of unborn children. And it is all that counts for me.

  99. Morgan says:

    Dear Mr. Clancy,
    I was in church and my preacher told me about this picture. And I was very fascinated to see it! Thank you for sharing the truth and giving so many people hope in there pregnancy! Maybe this will continue to encourage people to accept that babies are people since the time of conception… I feel very strongly about abortion and I believe every life is special. There is no reason to deny the miracle that happened then, and I support your cause completely! God bless.

    A 14 Year Old

  100. Paula seymour says:

    What a great picture, and thank you for taking all the abuse in stride. I think people get so upset about this photo, because it scares them. The one comment made about you pushing you pro life seminars on people was funny, I never knew seminars were mandatory.

  101. If you get a chance Google, “fetal harvesting.” The pro choice community doesn’t believe it’s really happening. Thanks for your comment. Michael

  102. Doodie says:

    Meanwhile, lotion manufactures are using collected fetal tissue in their lotion products. Is there any continuity in our ethical judgements? Dead Baby lotion? Seriously?

  103. EnfantTerrible,

    Thanks for your comment!

    The work the fetal surgery team at Vanderbilt performs is absolutely incredible and the “Vindication” this procedure received from the National Institute of Health study, MOM’s Clinical Research Trials, reinforced its value. However, it’s not a life saving procedure. That’s why the study was performed.

    Check out my book, my attacker is identified!

    Someday the doctors at Vanderbilt will realize remaining silent was a huge mistake.

    Have a blessed New Year!


  104. EnfantTerrible says:

    I just thought of something else, so please excuse me here – I don’t mean to monopolize your time and attention.

    Have you forgotten that this team of doctors that you are villifying SAVED THE LIFE OF LITTLE SAMUEL?

    How does that measure up against your petty grievance against them?

  105. EnfantTerrible says:

    Well, my goodness, you were *assaulted*? Did you have to go to the ER, or were you merely pushed or jostled? Did you call the police?

    Why do I even ask? You *and* *your* *photography* *equipment* were permitted in the OR. It stands to reason that they understood that you would be *using* that photographic equipment. Admitting for the sake of argument that you were pushed/jostled, rather than assuming that a member of the OR team actually tried to prevent you from taking a picture, those of us who actually live in this world will assume that the OR team member was probably just trying to move to a different location to perform some surgery-related task and inadvertently jostled you. In other words, there are more credible explanations than “the OR team didn’t want me taking THAT PICTURE!!!”

    In the mean time, nice attempt at disavowing any responsibility for aiding and abetting any lunatic-with-a-grudge to harass and possible threaten these doctors. I realize that in your mind, that’s a feature and not a bug.

    Too bad – it’s a remarkable picture that needs no invented drama to heighten its interest and impact.

  106. Dear Tisome and baby Cam,
    Wow! Thank you for taking the time to post your incredible story here. You are truly blessed! I hope and pray that you and yours have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. Michael (Sorry it took so long for me to reply)

  107. What I find irresponsible is a doctor (Bruner) that would invite a newspaper photographer into his operating room and have him assaulted in a failed attempt to stop him from getting a picture the “good” doctor didn’t want taken. The fetal surgery team and Vanderbilt University Medical Center bought twelve years, so far, by covering up what really happened during Samuel’s surgery. All the “gentlemen” listed share culpability, to varying degrees, in denying an absolute miracle. These men chose the role they are playing in this drama they created. Sure, you/they can try to blame me. How’s that working for you?
    Thanks for reminding me there are two other “gentlemen” that deserve to be on the list.
    Last night I attended the World Premiere of the movie, “The Gift of Life.” Governor Mike Huckabee was the host and my picture and the coverup are highlighted in the film. Four of the six Republican Presidential Candidates were there. It will also be shown at CPAC.

  108. EnfantTerrible says:

    The merits of the picture and your description aside, don’t you think it’s very irresponsible of you, Mr. Clancy, to publish the contact information of the doctors who participated in the surgery? There are too many loose cannons out there who would not make good use of such information… to put it mildly.

  109. Dr. Tisome Nugent says:

    I happened to come across this on a friends facebook page. I am 22 weeks pregnant and it has been rough on so many levels. But the best part is that I was told I would never have a child. As my little man- Cam moves within me I feel so much gratitude, so much love for little Samuel as he reaches out. There were times wasn’t sure I could do this, and my little man would nestle into me, as if to say he is worth it, the journey is worth it. Thank you for capturing this moment of hope.
    God bless you.
    Tisome & baby Cam

  110. Dear Veridiana, Thank you very much for your comment. You are right, the picture speaks for itself. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  111. Dear Midge, Thank you for your comment and your kind words. It was a blessing meeting you in Galesburg. I will email you a file of the picture. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  112. Dear Rosalinda, Thank you for your comment. I will email you. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  113. Thank you Nancy, I enjoyed visiting your site! Michael

  114. Nancy says:

    Thank you for allowing me to share your photo, story and link to your website on my blog: I pray God will use my post “The Rest of the Story” and your continued work for His glory.

    God bless.

  115. Rosalinda Lozano says:

    Good Evening, Mr. Clancey – I wonder if you could send me a picture as well. We are in the middle of rennovating a house on a property right across the street from the 2nd largest Planned Parenthood in the country. We are so excited to provide this resource to women in crisis and would love to have your photo as a reminder of the life within…

    If you will email me, I will give you all the info you need. Thank you and God bless you for all you do! rl

  116. Midge Wade says:

    Michael, I was at your presentation tonight at Bethel Baptist, here in Galesburg, IL. I came up & spoke to you & your wife before I left. I would like for you to send me a digital photo as you said you would in your talk. I am always amazed at how God chooses to use people to do His work! You are wonderful, and both you & your wife will be in my prayers for strength & courage to continue your work. Thank you so much for saying “yes” to God, and for speaking to people everywhere about the importance of life.
    God Bless you,
    Midge Wade

  117. Veridiana says:

    Dear Mr. Michael,
    I saw your picture for the first time when I was pregnant with my first child almost 5 years ago. I have to say that I remember I started crying and just couldn’t stop doing it. I found out I was pregnant when I was three weeks. I wasn’t really trying to have a baby, but I KNEW he was coming right after he was conceived. There are no words to explain it (It’s impossible to). I can say that I felt him inside me even before I was sure he was coming. I thought I would never feel that again, but the exact same feeling happened with my second baby. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if there’s a lie behind it. Each person who was there knows what they saw, people can see the same thing differently. It’s good for you that you were part of that moment and I believe that moment changed you forever. doctors are skeptical, they only believe in science and we have to respect that. What difference does it make? I find it kind of funny… I’m Brazilian and we say baby since the first moment of pregnancy, Americans don’t right? Your pictures is the most beautiful one ever. There’s too much fuss about it… anyone can ‘read’ it as they want. I truly believe there’s life in the baby’s hand and doctors may not be able to explain that. It’s beyond what they believe. I would never have an abortion but at the same time I can’t judge a person who does it. But people should be aware of what they’re doing when they do it. It doesn’t matter when it starts, there’s life… it IS a life from the very beginning. People believe in what makes them feel better. If they choose not to believe because it would be less painful, let them… I think it’s not easy to live the rest of your life thinking about how old your child would be if you hadn’t done it. Well, I’ve said too much… my best regards, Veridiana

  118. Dear Elaine, Thank you for your post. We are supposed to question and search for truth. It is amazing the attacks I receive because of a single picture. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  119. Dear Izilde, Thank you for your post. You should be able to get my book through Amazon. I’m not sure if they ship to South Africa.
    Blessings, Michael Clancy

  120. Hi Linda, Thank you for your post. It was great meeting you and everyone at the Alpha House banquet! You can get a copy of my book through Amazon. The book was the only way to tell the whole story. Thank you again and bless you,

    Michael Clancy

  121. Linda Hoover Maskus says:

    It was my pleasure meeting you last night at the Alpha House dinner where you spoke. I had seen this picture back when it first came out, I’d also read back then, that Dr Bruner said something like, ‘it was a miracle’ or something such as that! That was before he decided to change his story! I do not understand the hate filled comments on here, but at the same time I do understand why they can’t get over themselves. It’s sometimes easier for people to be hateful than just admit when they’re wrong. They can’t.
    I will look for your book, and btw, I don’t care how much money you make off this. Just keep it going around! It has nothing to do with profit! People who can’t understand, don’t want to. Good luck, and God Bless you for doing what you do!!!

  122. Izilde says:

    Hi Michael..
    I tried to find this book and in South African its a loss case.. is there a way that I can get hold of your book..

    I would love to read your story, this picture is proof that their is a GOD ..

    Thank you so much and God bless..


  123. Thank you Christiane for your comment. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  124. Hi Elizabeth, I think the truth will be soon. Blessings, Michael

  125. Dear Sean, Dr. Bruner made the decision to deny Samuel reached out on his own. No one has ever asked the other medical staff present what happened. Dr. Noel Tulipan for example has never been asked to explain how I was able to capture the four frames. He was the neurosurgeon for Samuel’s surgery and did the actual repairs to Samuel. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  126. Hi Tina, Thank you for your kind words. They did a great job on the article. Please do put the picture on your blog. Please email me if you need a file. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  127. Rob says:

    My baby brother had this surgery. Like Samuel, he walks with braces but is otherwise a normal child. He has no mental issues that we know of and he is maturing almost completly problem free!!

    I assure you that it is possible. I am not saying that I am sure this picture isn’t a hoax because I don’t believe anything anymore unless I personally witnessed it, but I can assure you that this surgery is real and sucessful.

  128. Christiane LECLERCQ-LACHAT says:

    Thank you so much, Michael, for your testimony and courage. I remember your photo so many years ago, as if I had just seen it.
    All glory to you, Lord, for this proof of your amazing and personal love shown in your wonderful creation !!!

  129. Tina Fisher says:

    I read an article featuring your photo & book in “The Catholic Spirit”. Would you mind if I put your photo in my blog (I am not on facebook)? I would link your page here and mention your article & book.

    I love the photo. I feel the photo stands alone, no words needed.

    Many blessings to you!

    Tina Fisher

  130. Seán MagRiabhaigh says:

    What I don’t understand is why would the medical staff concerned not want to be involved in something as moving as this, what is their agenda in denying that the human spirit exists before we are born. Could they be coming under pressure form outside forces such as pharmaceutical lobbyists? This photo encapsulates the miracle of life and shows that life is a struggle.

  131. Dear Susan, Thank you for your comment and letting me know the picture disappeared from your Facebook page. Its happened to many others but no word as to why Facebook is removing the picture. Did you receive any notification? Blessings, Michael Clancy

  132. Dear Aja, Thank you for your comment. Please visit the links, scroll up on right, there are several stories with a lot of info about the picture and Samuel. Michael Clancy

  133. Dear Marcy, Thank you for your comment. It was a blessing to meet everyone and share my story in Baraboo. Michael Clancy

  134. Dear Kelly, Thank you for your comment. The picture has been an incredible blessing! It’s not over yet. Michael Clancy

  135. Kelly Jean says:

    Michael, I heard your story for the first time last night on the radio. WOW! I must say that I was blown away. What you have done is remarkable! I am a Christian and am very much against abortion. This story really inspired me! And when I saw the picture, I was even more blown away. I am also a photographer (in training) and it would be a dream of mine to expose a truth behind a photo like you did! Thank you for speaking the truth! The world needs more people like you! God bless!

  136. Stephanyia Olger says:

    Oh, one more thing Connie..we as women carry our children with the hopes of having a beautiful child that we can call our own..when the baby is born it is one of the most amazing times in our lives..we nurture our baby, take care of it because we are mothers and that is what is to be done. What do you say when a female cow gives birth to her calf?? It turns around immediately and begins to take care of her baby..just like we how on earth can you say its ok basically because it does not have a human soul?? Hell I have seen plenty of animals take care of their babies 100 times better than humans are simply talking out of your ass with this whole no human soul..that is obvious HELLOOOO but they are still Gods creation and he gave them the ability to procreate..gain some knowledge before you begin a battle of the’ll lose against me every single time.

  137. Stephanyia Olger says:

    hmmm I am not the only one who said your statement was laughable..and it is..considering I am 100% not now ever have worn leather since I was 9, hate meat, never ever would carry a dead animal on my person nor as a means to carry my wallet, keys or anything else..none of us has any idea if a cow really was bred animal has a soul..feels pain..and has even been proven by Harvard Medical that animals such as cats, dogs monkeys, even giraffes and donkeys..orany animal for that matter can and does actually smile when happy. They have feelings and no matter how you slice a throat of a cow, or any other animal for human consumption, or for a handbag, or a disgusting fur coat..that animal felt it..just as a baby that is being aborted feels it…you have no idea what was has a God given right because you are not God..if going by the bible..ehh it is still heresay..I am 100% Catholic but I have a brain..went to Roman Catholic boarding school..mass 3 times a day in school and on every single Sunday..I know thebible like the back of my hand. I am open-minded highly educated, and furthermore have the most amazing garden that is full of nutritious vegetables that provide myself andmy family with natural, organic, safe food that does not have to be killed….I am also against abortion and always will be. Also, if “one” of cows God given rights is to feed humans(not all humans mind you) what are the others besides the obvious?? Fill me in sista=))

  138. Stephanyia Olger says:

    HAHA Angie I believe I am 100% Catholic…went to a Roman Catholic Boarding school..went to mass 3 times a day..and on every Sunday thank you for having a latte or two with god I am referring to survival of the fittest..which Lion King also addresses quite nice try with trying to match wits with me have failed..but I love your opinion is my opinion!!

  139. Marcy D. says:

    Dear Michael:

    I saw you speak tonight in Baraboo WI. I wanted to thank you for sharing your story behind the picture and about your life. Words cannot describe how much you have inspired me!!! Your strength and your courage is amazing!

    Thank you again for coming to our little town!

    -Marcy D.

  140. Aja says:

    soo many comments but somehow whether baby Samuel’s surgery was a success and wheather he was freed of spinal bifida aren’t clarified. Isn’t that the most important thing? A human beings (Samuel’s) opportunity at good quality of life.

  141. Susan Harb says:

    Dear Doctor Clancy.

    I ran across this picture once again and decided to post it on my facebook page. I believe what you say happened and am very pro life.

    I did post it (not knowing I needed your permission) . But within the hour that posting disappeared. I do not know if it was your doing…. or the liberal thinking of facebook not wanting to spread the thought of a human is a human only after birth.

    If you do not want me to post it I perfectly understand. But if it was not your doing I would like to find out why my thoughts were not allowed to be heard.

    Thanks you and may God Bless you.

    Susan Harb

  142. Dear Noel, Thank you for your comment. I’ve said it before, “The hand fell up? Right.” Samuel deserves to live his life knowing the truth about his reaching out and not be shrouded in doubt because a doctor (Bruner) got mad. Buck up Bruner, you invited a newspaper photographer into your operation room. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  143. Dear Elaine, Thank you for your comment. I have spent the last twelve years telling the story behind my picture. Dr. Bruner lied and he hasn’t made a comment about the picture in ten years. Dr. Noel Tulipan knows what really happened during Samuel’s surgery. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  144. Dear Abby, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment here. Thank you for having the courage to take a stand for life. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  145. Noel Voos says:

    hmmmm….The medical journal write up of the operation offers this version of events:
    “[J]ust as surgeon Dr. Joseph Bruner was closing the incision in Julie Armas’ uterus, Samuel’s thumbnail-sized hand flopped out. Bruner lifted it gently and tucked it back in.”

    I’m not a scientist, just an average man – but I consider the following:

    a) presumably, the mother was lying prone on her back during the surgery – being pregnant after all;

    b) therefore, another miracle occurred that day – gravity reversed itself, causing Samuel’s hand to “flop out” of the incision – per Dr. Bruner.

    I and surprised a man of his intellect, scholarship and skill, failed to notice at that instance everything science knows about gravity totally changed for that slight moment in time caught on silver halide and cellulose acetate.

    How did such a thing happen and these men of science not notice it, nor consider it, nor comment on it?

    Sometimes I am just so content in my ignorance and lack of masters or doctoral degrees – and believe so strongly in the simple answers – things like Ockham’s razor, ya know.

    God bless you Mr Clancy! Truth will set us all free.

    “…one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all….born and unborn.”

  146. Elaine Mah Why Yaan says:

    Hi Micheal,

    I’ve seen bpth encouraging comments and discouraging comments on different websites that talk about this picture. Some believe you, some doesn’t. No one knows the truth behind it, except for you, the medical team and God. The others can only choose to believe or not to believe your words. For me, I’m neither a medical personnel nor a photographer, so by just analysing your words, I really don’t know whether if you are speaking the truth, as many lies sometimes could be very convincing as well. But don’t worry Micheal, whether or not people believe in your words, you are a child of God and I believed that God is watching over you. Just remember that for everything you do and every words you speak have to be accountable to God, and do in the name of God. So continue to stand up for God if you are speaking the truth while blessings the others.


  147. Abby Marie says:

    hi! 🙂

  148. Abby Marie says:

    In my 6th grade religion class, we were learning about how most people think( and are very wrong) than a baby is not a human being with a soul until they are born and that we have a guardian angle since we are conceived. Mrs. Dyer mentioned this story a couple of times in the lesson and I decided to Google up “baby in uterus grabs doctor’s finger during operation” and this was the 3rd result. I clicked on the first 3 and decided to leave a comment on this one saying that this proves that God cares for and protects everyone since the second they are conceived. – Abby,11 years old.

  149. Elizabeth says:

    I plan on it. I have read many different stories of the night the photo taken and can’t understand why the doctors, and all involved would be proud to stand behind such a wonderful photo. People getting abortion will continue to “kill” the babies no matter the proof. A mother feels the first kick before the 21 weeks of this photo… that is life!

  150. Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for your comment. Please do use the picture for your class assignment. The controversy with the doctor is a very small part of the overall story. You must read my book. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  151. Elizabeth says:

    This photograph is so inspiring, both as a photographer and a beliver in miracles. I’m glad to see that it is a real story! I hope you will not mind, if I use this photo for a class assignment. If you prefer me not to use the photo, please e-mail me and I will find another photo for my assignment. Thanks for not being afraid to stand for the truth. If people except that this is a true picture, then they have to face the fact that a fetus is a living human way before birth. (As the Bible says, at conception!)

  152. Karen says:

    Yes Michael….I would love to have a file! And thank you very much!

  153. Dear Karen, Thank you for your comment. I have heard from others that the picture had been forcibly removed from their Facebook page also. I’m so sorry. If it’s a matter of permission, Please tell Facebook you have my permission as the photographer and sole copyright holder of the picture to post it on your Facebook page. Please do give a photo credit to me. I’ll send you a file if you need one? Blessings, Michael Clancy

  154. Karen says:

    ….I seen this picture on Facebook and shared it on my wall, many others copied and shared it also. Well it’s Friday night and my Grand-daughter is spending the night with me and I wanted to show the picture to her….It was removed from my wall so I went to my friends walls to see if I could find it…no luck. Facebook must have removed them all.
    I believe the picture is real and it really touched my heart. The Devil is so mad as now there will be less babies killed through abortion….You keep it up….as I believe God is using you and your picture. Your heart is kind and I expect that you will do alot of good things with the proceeds of your book. There are so many little children in need around the world and my Bible says we are not to brag and make known all the good things we do for others…God will see and reward you openly. So bind the enemy here LORD JESUS and bless this man.

  155. Dear Christine, Thank you for your comment. I’ve done what I had to do to keep the picture and story alive. Up till 2007 I freelanced for a living. I now speak at events and do handyman work. Read my book and let me know what you think. It’s only been available several weeks, check with me later to see if it does any good. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  156. Rebecca says:

    I can’t believe that either.mean I am having a hard time understanding all this meaness…

  157. Rebecca says:

    Thats just mean…

  158. Rebecca says:


  159. Rebecca says:

    Thereyago !

  160. Stephanyia Olger says:

    it is one thing to snap a photo of a celebrity who is posing for a pic on is quite something else when you do what he has done..regardless of ownership it is tasteless..and why are my comments disgusting?? I speak the truth and many other like myself said the same..he gained $$$, bad press, good press all for this pic…you should never gain $$$$ for using a photo op when using it to discuss is tasteless..may I remind you that I relish your stupid are on his his high horsed pedastal as well and you need to step sad lives people have..
    he did have an take pics of the procedure..not blow this whole thing up as it has for his gain!!!

  161. Stephanyia Olger says:

    my name is Stephanyia NOT Stephanie..I am not looking for prayers from fact you are the one in need of prayers..

  162. Stephanyia Olger says:

    Noone wished harm on anyone’s child..especially me!! I am simply stating put himself in someone elses position for once..
    instead of using this to make a buck..

  163. Christine says:

    Michael, is it safe to say that you aren’t getting rich selling this book? I would imagine not. I grew up in a pastor’s family, and he never got rich being a pastor, but even so he had to spend time reminding his parishioners that the only money our family got was his income and that ONLY came from regular donations to the church. People rail against churches asking for money (and some churches ask for too much money, to be sure), but a pastor is “hired” to work for the people of the church, just as a mayor is hired to work for the people of a city and is payed by taxes. People who write books have to eat too, so please don’t worry too much about people accusing you of lining your pockets. If it’s anything like my dad, the pockets were empty a lot. Blessings on you.

  164. Christine says:

    For Lauren:

    I heard this article on NPR several months ago, about how the pre-natal surgery to correct for spina bifida has become much more common and is very successful.

    I just thought this might be helpful information regarding the legitimacy of the surgery itself. I am not commenting either way on the other issues that have been presented here.

  165. Dear Adams, I visited Lagos and Abuja Nigeria last September. It was an amazing trip. I stayed at the Sickle Cell Building across from the Lagos Teaching Hospital. I wrote about it in my new book. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  166. Dear Annie, Great post, thank you. Michael Clancy

  167. Rosario says:

    so you were bear hugged and moved away. ok. Please answer. Was it your right to stay there? Was it your right to take the picture?
    Were you in a contract to capture every moment?
    Can you sue for assault?
    If the you answer no to all. What’s the issue?

  168. Dear Susan, Thank you for sharing your incredible story. You bring me back to my original purpose, let the world know the procedure to correct spina bifida in the womb is available once again as an elective procedure. From 2003 till 2010 this medical procedure was involved in the MOMS Clinical Research Trials and only allowed an extremely limited number of patients to have the procedure. The result of the Trials upheld the validity of the medical procedure and it’s again available to everyone. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  169. Susan says:

    I have a child/adult that is now 24 with spina bifida and hydrocephalus… he is unable to live on his own, due to the event of the hydrocephalus, leading to multiple brain surgeries and complications, which prevented him from developing as someone without hydrocephalus…. had he been able to have the surgery inutero (which wasn’t possible in 1987) he’d be able to be a fully functioning adult, able to live on his own and have a full life, but due to the brain surgeries, he is delayed and will always function like a teenager.. so his life is limited. We are so thankful to God that we have our son, and wouldn’t trade him for the world, but I’d give the world to be able to give him a full life, able to live as other’s his age do… his physical challanges are easy to manage, it’s the brain difficulties that we all struggle with. God has given us this issue for a reason and we are thankful for the ability to care for our son, however he is…. Our God is a great God and has brought our son to this place in his life and he has done so much more than the doctors had ever thought he would… he was only expected to live to be 4 due to the complications.. so the risks involved in the surgery are nothing compared to what they must deal with after birth without the surgery being done…. so the end result is a benefit and worth the risks (could prevent many brain surgeries … of which our son had 20 before age 8)… sorry I rambled but I really wanted to respond to the comments made here… I’m glad the picture is out there and I do want to read the story behind it.. God is great to give man the knowledge to be able to help children who may not be alive had the surgery not been done.. God bless the people who are touched due to this one photo… may it help save many babies over the years…

  170. Dear Angela and Lauren, Thank you for posting your comments. The medical personnel are all Heros and deserve to be able to claim the picture as their own. Dr. Bruner denied the medical team and Vanderbilt this moment when he lied about Samuel reaching out. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  171. Thank you Mary. Michael

  172. Dear Ally, Thank you for your comment and for putting things into perspective. It’s been quite a day! It’s been an honor to share the picture. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  173. You should read my book. I was on assignment for the Tennessean Newspaper and sent to a church in the Smoky Mountains to take pictures. The story the reporter and I were covering was about the practice of handling snakes in church. It was frightening and incredible to witness this phenomenon. The point is, I got out a Bible and started reading trying to understand why they believed the passages in Mark 16: 17-18. Within a few months I became a Christian. Two months after becoming a Christian I took the picture. I was not pro life. The picture changed that and I have donated it to virtually anyone that asked for over ten years. I have maintained my web site and answered all email about the picture for twelve years. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  174. Dear Melissa, Thank you for your comment. I was threatened by Vanderbilt’s Dr. Ray Paschall with legal action over ten years ago. They could have silenced me long ago if I was not telling the truth. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  175. Dear Marye, Wow! Thank you. What an incredible story with incredible insight into my story. Right down to your final sentence. Vanderbilt is an amazing hospital with incredible people performing miracles everyday. They deserve to be able to claim being the hospital where the Earliest Human Interaction was captured on film. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  176. Angela says:

    Definitely see where you are coming from. Its awesome stuff if you ever get the chance to read up on it. This particular surgery was done more than 12 years ago-just google Dr. Bruner or Vanderbilt University Hospital and you should get the full description of the story, along with all this stupid “truth behind the photo” crap that is circulating as well. With the first breath of the newborn, there are many factors at play. Most importantly, the fetus will take its first breath when it is no longer receiving the oxygen rich blood from the placenta, CO2 levels rise, brain detects this acidotic state, causes the diaphragm to begin contracting to breathe. As for sterility, again the uterus is sterile because it is a pelvic organ. It would certainly be a meticulous matter to keep a sterile field, as it is with any surgery, but that risk would surely be outweighed by the benefit in this case. At any rate, Samuel is healthy, the surgery was a success and continues to be, the surgeons are heros, and thankfully not many people are taking too much notice of this Clancy fellow trying to defame the character of these dedicated innovative doctors.

  177. Dear Kesha, Thank you for your comment and your great story! Blessings, Michael Clancy

  178. Kesha b says:

    Weather this is true or not I have to share a story. My husbands little sister was born 4 months early and weighed less then a pound and is now a healthy 20 year old with no health problems because of being premature. So all that say no baby can do this or that or it hasent fully formed whatever it is you don’t think they have formed I say your wrong. A 17 week old fetus can suck their thumb so this can actually happen with a 21 week old fetus.

  179. Melissa says:

    Mr. Clancy,

    Also, if it’s all a lie, why would these surgeons, doctors and the hospital not sue you for libel or slander?

    God Bless,

  180. Melissa says:

    Mr. Clancy,

    I remember hearing this story. I also heard that you were not prolife or maybe not Christian before this occured and that you allowed the photo to be used free of charge for prolife billboards. Are those stories true? I have not yet read your book.

    God Bless,

  181. Ally says:

    I find it amusing how you have been attacked for putting a picture on here of a child reaching out of the uterus. However, if this was a painting on here no one would be calling you names or saying you are after money. I think it bothers people because it makes it difficult to deny when a fetus begins to have reflexes and is a human/baby. There is a heart beat from day one making it a living breathing human being. I do not see that Samuel’s mom has ever found this offensive so I fail to see how there should be an issue or how you getting money don’t really see us having to pay on here. Thank you for sharing this beautiful thing.

  182. O says:

    I cannot believe you Adam you are 24 years old supposedly an adult using profanity and the only reason your mad is because you made a CHOICE to have unprotected sex and the result of this is a child don’t take it out on Mr. Clancy. If you at your age don’t know where babies come from then you aren’t mature enough to be having sex.

  183. peakobutter says:

    How is that immature just asking? He chose not engage. Pretty classy Michael!:)

  184. Adam says:

    I agree that me telling Michael to go fuck himself was out of anger, but I didn’t tell him to go fuck himself because of his stance on abortions, I told him to go fuck himself because he is seeking to profit from this situation. Now, back our discussion about abortion. Am I to assume that you see the world as right and wrong? That women who have abortions are like bank robbers and Hitler? It’s not a question of standing up for what’s right, but rather about standing up for woman’s rights. Your next point I’m sure would have something to do with the rights of the unborn baby, which have been accounted for in the Roe v. Wade ruling.

  185. Maxim says:

    I might also add that you should absolutely hope that I will continue to “speculate my life away” it is because of these efforts in effective scientific research (“speculation”) that you, your children, and your grandchildren will all be able to live much more pleasant and lengthy lives.

  186. Mary says:

    My home is licesed to be a residental home for special needs adults. What i see precious, miracle of medicine, and most of all hope. whether real or false, it is one heck of a picture and one that can’t help but stir the heart of the viewer. Thank you.

  187. Maxim says:

    Everything that you say has no objectivity to it whatsoever, why do you insist on ignoring hard facts while adopting purely whimsical and speculative thinking. There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of reports from every medical and scientific discipline that go directly against the things you believe, yet you cling to them.
    The fact that you ignore all of these things and continue to stick-to-your-guns, completely blind to any logic and commonsense, is both frightening and offensive.

    Perhaps I am wrong though, perhaps a photojournalist is on the same level of understanding as world-class surgeons and nobel laureates in medicine & physiology. Mere speculation.

    I wish for you a long and happy life with the hope that you might one day begin to look at everything out there with genuine critical thinking devoid of subjectivity.

  188. Monica says:

    How does he give Christians a bad name? He merely wants his story as he sees it to be told. Do not we all as human beings have that right? And I as a Christian do not see where he would give me a bad name. We all make our own choices and actions. I’m happy to have seen this picture as it is the first time I have seen the uterus as such. I had my son in an emergency c section and was not able to hold him nor see what was going on. The risk taken to save this baby’s life by his momma because she believed in his life, In Life, says a lot to me as a Christian.

  189. Lauren says:

    Ahh thank you for your reply Angela, didn’t see it until now!
    I’ve always known that the difference in pressure isn’t caused by the clamping of the umbilical cord, depending on the type of birth whether active management is used, you can leave the placenta and baby until the cord stops pulsating which can be anything up to an hour. During a normal vaginal delivery, it’s the action of the vaginal walls squeezing the fetus that causes pressure in the lungs to build up and expel the amniotic fluid from- once that external pressure is released, the lungs need to inflate, thus, the first breath. It’s similar with c-sections but takes a few seconds longer or resuscitation measures are used. I was more considering the ‘sterile’ uterus and field to be different between maternal/fetal due to normal bacterial residing in the body. I know there are medications involved but i’m not a surgeon or a doctor, i’m just merely questioning because i’m curious.
    I know that utero surgery exists but i don’t know much about it, so by questioning others and myself, it’ll expand my mindset, if you see where i’m coming from?

  190. Lauren says:

    Also, after having major surgery such as the ‘alleviation’ of hydrocephalus and the repair of the fetal spine which requires no movement and would have to be performed under general anaesthetic, the fetus would have to be monitored 24/7 for recovery purposes and that isn’t possible when in utero. If any complications were to arise- such as fetal distress after said proceedure, you wouldn’t be able to perform emergency resuscitation measures or help the child in any way as that would mean rushing the poor mother into theatre everytime there was a problem, which once again, is a serious risk physically and mentally and would increase maternal mortality.

    You’ve just indirectly confirmed to me that this isn’t possible.

  191. Dear Maxim, Usher away means usher away. I said “attacked.” Speculate your life away, the picture is the earliest human interaction.
    Blessings, Michael Clancy

  192. Dear Maureen, Thank you for your comment. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  193. Dear Bosslady, Thank you for your comment. Innocent children must be protected by law. Born or unborn. It doesn’t matter. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  194. Angela says:

    The truth about what? Specifically. That the child awoke from anesthesia? That the child grasped his finger? What would you like Dr. Bruner to say that he hasnt said? That he is pro-life? If he was a man encouraging abortion certainly he would not have pioneered a procedure that allows for the exact opposite-hope for parents who are told abortion is the only good option.

  195. Angela says:

    Lauren-this shift in pressure you refer to is achieved with the clamping of the umbilical cord which is not done in this procedure. The contents of a person’s abdominal cavity, including the mother’s uterus, are sterile. The physician’s removed her uterus onto a sterile field to complete the procedure, and replaced that still uterus into her body. The amniotic fluid was drained from the sac for the procedure and replaced afterward. Certainly the consideration of rh factor is important and im sure something that the doctors consider when deciding whether to perform the procedure, but there are medications that can be given to mom to prevent that type of reaction. It is a real procedure that has been performed for years on many patients. A miracle for sure 🙂

  196. Dear RMG, Thank you for your comment and your blessing! Blessings to you. Michael Clancy

  197. Rhi says:

    Its amazing how selective you are. You will happily infringe on people’s personal business by way of shoving Pro life seminars and associated content down their throats but when it comes to your own personal business…..

  198. I shot nine rolls of 36 exposure film during the surgery. They tell the story. You can follow every step of the procedure looking at the film. The clock in the background shows the time. Name-tags etc. Whatever profit or sacrifice I have made because of the picture is no ones business but thanks for asking. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  199. Jen says:


    Writing “go f*** yourself” on here doesn’t help you convince anyone of your point. Try writing your thoughts without anger and use logic and maybe people would be inclined towards your opinion.

    And I feel that calling abortion “a women’s right to choose” is a person’s way of staying on the sidelines and not really having to admit what the issue really is about. We all have the right to choose in everything we do in life. If someone robs a bank… they were free to make that choice… but it doesn’t make it right. And if that person were caught they would pay the consequences of that choice. Saying a woman has a right to choose, doesn’t make it OK to kill an unborn baby. And it is up to us to stand up for what is right and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of Jews during WWII. In his country, he made the rules… killing Jews (who were deemed not human) wasn’t against the law. He was doing nothing wrong. But did that make it right? It was up to the rest of the world to stand up against Hitler and fight for those who could not fight for themselves. It’s not about hiding behind faith or religion so that we can tell others how to live… it’s about standing up for what is right.

  200. It’s the only thing I know to say to someone looking to pick a fight. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  201. Dear Lauren, Thank you for your comment. You sure have put a lot of thought into it. I call it a miracle. Samuel was the 64th baby to have this procedure at Vanderbilt. The alleviation of hydrocephalous was most encouraging. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  202. Dear Kayla, Thank you for your comment. The picture is one of life’s most beautiful moments. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  203. Dear Angela, My objective is the truth. The picture will be regarded as the miracle it is. The Earliest Human Interaction. It’s not up to me. It’s history! Blessings, Michael

  204. Mia says:

    what an absolutely immature response.

  205. Dear Angie, Thank you for your comment. The hand came through the surgical opening with a force and an entire arm flailed back and forth. Dr. Bruner reached forward and the arm pulled back till just the hand was showing. Bruner lifted the hand and I took the pictures. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  206. Kayla Rogers says:

    Things happen in operating rooms all of the time. Surgeons are not perfect. But I have to wonder if you have a more personal vendetta against this man. I find it hard to believe that this surgeon intentionally didn’t give the patient enough anesthesia. The miracle of this surgery supercides your efforts to destroy (in my opinion) this surgeon and the other members you have put out there (slammed). If there was any wrong doing in this case, your approach doesn’t point in that direction. I’m choosing to believe this was one of lifes most beautiful moments (Unless negligence is proven in a court of law).

  207. Nicole says:

    I don’t see anything in the slide show to support what you are saying. But thank you for replying to my comment with a completely different topic and not answering the question on the table. In reply to your comment to Rhi, I find it hard to believe that you would lose an entire career over this photo 8 years after it was taken. I find it easier to believe that you lost it trying to stir the controversial kettle that is behind this photo for personal gains. I think the truth behind this is that you are trying to get revenge on the doctors for damages that you caused to yourself.

  208. Lauren says:

    I’m not sure whether i really believe this or not, purely for the fact that if a mother is taken in for a caesarean section at term (whether it be elective or emergency), when the pressure is removed from the fetus, there is immediate change in fetal circulation which allows the fetus/baby to take it’s first breath. At 21 weeks, the lungs are no way near developed enough and despite the mother even having steroid injections to mature the lungs enough, it would have a detrimental effect if the fetus were to continue to grow inside the womb. It would be taken straight to the neonatal unit. One thing i’m wondering, is because that pressure has been removed by opening the uterus, the amnion, the chorion and expelling the amniotic fluid, surely that fetus would have taken it’s first breath making it impossible to continue life in the womb? Even having an amniocentesis for genetic screening carries a high risk for miscarriage and spontaneous abortion (abortion: rejection, not ‘termination’ as we know it), plus, to perform surgery while the fetus is still inside the mother would be the most unsterile thing in the world- the fetus is covered in vernix and maternal fluid so surely surgery- especially on the uterus, would be something that surgeons, consultants and doctors would completely avoid. You also have to take into account that if the mother is Rh- the fetus could be Rh+ and that can kill the fetus if the blood mixes due to the build up of antibodies causing haemolytic disease of the newborn…

    Maybe i’m looking too much into this, but i don’t know if i quite believe it because of the HUGE risks involved.

  209. Thanks for your opinion. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  210. thanks Christy, Be Blessed! Michael Clancy

  211. Amy Ramos says:


  212. Christy says:

    Mr. Clancy,

    You give Christians a bad name.

  213. Rhi says:

    If the medical team in that surgery expressed a desire for you to desist taking a photograph, you should have obeyed their wishes. You didn’t. You were just a newspaper photographer and you went against the wishes of a professional medical team performing surgery. I wonder if this was the reason for you losing your job. If not, it should have been. You newspaper folk always take yourselves above and beyond people’s privacy and you peddle your wares off in the ‘public’ interest, when really you use it to gain some celebrity status.

  214. Dear Rhi, Thank you for your comment. I was bear-hugged from behind, picked up in the air and carried several steps. It wasn’t intended to injure, just to stop me from getting a picture. Line my pockets? I lost my career as a newspaper photographer because of the picture in 2007. I have shared my story at close to 115 events, in three countries, mostly for donations. I have spent the last twelve years donating the picture to virtually anyone that asked for it. Pockets? What pockets?

  215. Nicole says:

    So since you haven’t answered it in your replies. Is any of the money you are making off of this book, going towards anything special other than your pocket? I’m pretty sure that’s the major reason why most of these posts are so negative. I think it’s just the thought of someone profiting on such an issue that puts a bad taste in most people’s mouths. I’m not gonna deny that you have captured something so beautiful and amazing in this photo. They say a picture is worth 1000 words. So why the need for the book, the picture is already so powerful. But I think most people would agree that your turning it so negative by writing this book and destroying the value of the photo.

    Oh and also, listing the doctor’s phone numbers just seems really petty and a sorta child like thing to do. Almost like writing a girl’s phone number on a men’s restroom wall. Even if you are trying to give people the tools to find the truth themselves. You are also giving them the tools to harrass and destroy someone’s life, which can be powerful when someone is going by what you say as the complete truth without knowing for themselves if you are right or exaggerating.

    Well like it or not, that’s my two sense.

  216. Dear Angela, Thank you for your comment. Dr. Bruner chose the role he played in this story and cast a shadow over an absolute miracle moment. The pictures speak for themselves. He robbed the medical staff and Vanderbilt of an event that depicts what they stand for. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  217. Rhi says:

    By what definition were you ‘attacked’? You seem to have had a very up close and steady shot without outside interference….

    That said, the picture is amazing. However, it should not be used for political or religious agenda but as a reminder how amazing the advancement of medicine is. The picture tends to leave a slightly bad taste in your mouth after you first marvel at the sight of the unborn child gripping the hand and then realise that you are using that amazing miraculous image to line your pockets. I don’t suppose you have made any donations to the hospital with your earnings from this image? Now, THAT would have been amazing.

    Although I am not religious, I have to ask what the man that religious people call Jesus would do. Would he capitalise on this ‘miracle’?

  218. Adam says:

    Haha iPhone..learn*

  219. Adam says:

    I never gave excuses, I am living with the consequences of my decision. It’s clear that planned pregnancies don’t always result in positive outcomes for the child as I believe not everyone was meant to be a parent. The issue isn’t about abstinence or the fact that my partner and I chose to have unprotected sex, the issue is that it’s none of your business, the governments, if abortions should be allowed or not. It is the mothers right to choose, and I will go toe to toe with anyone that says otherwise. Leads to proof read, your response was terrible.

  220. Dear Chris, Thank you for your comment. It’s been incredible to see the range of emotion the picture evokes. I couldn’t be more blessed. Have a great day! Blessings, Michael Clancy

  221. Nicole says:

    I’m guessing cause Tom is right.

  222. Dear Amy, Thank you for your comment. I want this blog to be PG rated but I also want people to see the emotional response from the picture. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  223. Dear Angie, Thank you for your comment. I have the highest respect for the medical team. Someone from that team will come forward and tell the truth. I wish it would be the anesthesiologist. He would become the most famous anesthesiologist ever. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  224. Susan says:

    You didn’t answer his question.

  225. Angela says:

    I suppose I am not really sure what your objective is here. You say the physician has lied but Im not sure what about. In every article I have read Dr. Bruner agrees that you were in the room, agrees that the hand of the baby was outside the womb and that it grasped his finger, and that he replaced it into the womb. I believe that he stalled before replacing as your photos suggest, and which he does not deny, because it is incredible and life-changing when a tiny life grasps at your finger, and he had just perfomed an innovative surgery on the youngest fetus ever. He had to have been filled with emotion anyway. You start to lose me with the abortion debate. Are you wanting the doctors to all join the pro-life campaign, or say that Samuel came out of anesthesia, or say that you were indeed assaulted by staff? Im not sure what truth you are wanting them to admit. Thanks for clarifying.

  226. Dear Marie, Thank you for your comment. Please read my book and let me know what you think. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  227. Angela says:

    The photo is absolutely breathtaking and inspiring there is no doubt about that. Mr. Clancy’s use of the photo and distortion of the character of the medical staff. The physician would have no reason to lie-the man spent his life innovating this ground-breaking procedure to give an option to abortion for parents of children with the disorder. Mr. Clancy simplys lacks some medical knowledge and some class. Of course he deserves credit for the photo and for bringing the story of this procedure to light. However, he is shaming himself by questioning the character of the staff and creating an abortion debate out of a family’s private affair.

  228. Angie says:

    As a nurse, myself; I have been in many spinal surgeries. And I cannot explain to you the importance of sterility in a situation like that. We’re talking about a spinal opening where spinal fluid and nerves are located. Any contamination would be detrimental to the patient. I cannot stress that enough. And, as a nurse, if you were in my OR, and would have moved an inch into my sterile field, I would have abruptly stopped you as well. I can almost guarantee that the surgeons first thought, was not…”oh no, I can’t allow him a picture, because that could prove that there is life and feelings at 21 weeks.” ( To make it clear, I 100% believe that is a human being vs just a fetus.) It was probably more along the lines of “STERILE, STERILE, STERILE!!!”.
    I think this picture is captivating. I believe that certainly that baby is simply a tiny human. Who quite possibly may have come out of anesthesia. It happens all of the time. At no foul of the physician. Especially, in a case of an inutero child. Palmar reflex may explain why the little guy is grasping the doctor’s finger. But, it does not explain how he was able to move his arm out of the incision. The interesting thing about the palmar reflex is, an object must be placed in the palm to initiate the reflex. I would like to know, was the tiny hand grasping in the air, prior to the doctor placing his own finger in his palm? If so, that could squash that debate! Just some food for thought.
    I think that your picture is phenomenal. It captured something that words could never describe. However, I don’t agree with defaming the medical team. We are all entitled to our own beliefs and perceptions. It doesn’t shed good light on you, to stoop to that level. I think maybe you should campaign about your own beliefs, in lieu of focusing on the disbeliefs of others. Maybe focus, on their hard work, and the fact that they were able to restore this young child to health, and possibly saved his life. None the less, great photo.

  229. Angie says:

    ( I forgot to add this) I think this picture is captivating. I believe that certainly that baby is simply a tiny human. Who quite possibly may have come out of anesthesia. It happens all of the time. At no foul of the physician. Especially, in a case of an inutero child. Palmar reflex may explain why the little guy is grasping the doctor’s finger. But, it does not explain how he was able to move his arm out of the incision. The interesting thing about the palmar reflex is, an object must be placed in the palm to initiate the reflex. I would like to know, was the tiny hand grasping in the air, prior to the doctor placing his own finger in his palm? If so, that could squash that debate! Just some food for thought.

  230. Angie says:

    As a nurse, myself; I have been in many spinal surgeries. And I cannot explain to you the importance of sterility in a situation like that. We’re talking about a spinal opening where spinal fluid and nerves are located. Any contamination would be detrimental to the patient. I cannot stress that enough. And, as a nurse, if you were in my OR, and would have moved an inch into my sterile field, I would have abruptly stopped you as well. I can almost guarantee that the surgeons first thought, was not…”oh no, I can’t allow him a picture, because that could prove that there is life and feelings at 21 weeks.” ( To make it clear, I 100% believe that is a human being vs just a fetus.) It was probably more along the lines of “STERILE, STERILE, STERILE!!!”.
    I think that your picture is PHENOMENAL. It captured something that words could never describe. However, I don’t agree with defaming the medical team. We are all entitled to our own beliefs and perceptions. It doesn’t shed good light on you, to stoop to that level. I think maybe you should campaign about your own beliefs, in lieu of focusing on the disbeliefs of others. Maybe focus, on their hard work, and the fact that they were able to restore this young child to health, and possibly saved his life. None the less, great photo.

  231. Amy Ramos says:

    I am disgusted with the negative comments!! Didn’t your mamas teach you that if you don’t have anything nice to say….THEN DON’T SAY ANYTHING!!!
    What a true blessing and miracle. A tiny human life reaching out. It has a profound meaning to me personally. I feel like this captured the very essence of being PRO-LIFE!! Thank you!!!

  232. Angie says:

    Connie, I agree with your statement entirely! In fact, to address STEPHANYIA- I chill with God over a latte or two, quite often. It’s called reading The Bible. You should try reading it some time. It’ll do you some good. As it does everyone. It’ll answer most of your “hard hitting questions”. You just may not like the answers. Or, you could just opt for watching The Lion King; it explains the Circle of Life! Just sayin…

  233. Dear Adam, Thank you for your comment. Congratulations! I will remember you and yours in my prayers. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  234. Dear Lizelle, Thank you for your comment. I tell my story in the book and I promise, the picture is everything it appears to be. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  235. Sabrina says:

    Why would anyone wish harm on a child no matter the consequences of someone else’s faults??

  236. Dear Tom, Thank you for your comment. The negatives tell the story. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  237. Annie Castle says:

    People aren’t perfect, we all make choices that sometime land us in unideal situations. That doesn’t make anyone stupid, it makes us human. Had it not been for my 2 beautiful daughters, I would’ve continued to follow a path that would’ve lead me to jail, rehab, & eventually death. But now I’m a loving mother & an educated, productive member of society. I have no anger or resentment holding me back from being able to enjoy beauty even in mishap. Most of all I’m happy with my wonderful life…are you?

  238. Dear Angela, Thank you for your comment. The truth will be told. Be Blessed! Michael Clancy

  239. Dear Angela, The negativity here streams from the obvious fact that there is no arguing with the pictures. It’s a baby, it always will be a baby, no matter what you say or do.
    The gentlemen on this page, aside from Dr. Bruner, are heros. They were all caught up in Dr. Bruner’s attempt to discredit the picture. Dr. Noel Tulipan has to step out and admit what really happened. The question is, will he? Blessings, Michael Clancy

  240. RMG says:

    @Jesse Shaffer, your inability to come up with a rational comment bothers me sore!Have you considered those born in places like africa in remote villages?what on earth is a birth certificate to them if they even have hospitals?does that automatically make them less human than anyone else? As for your comparison to humans with tapeworms and cows, it clearly shows to me you do not see human life with any value and you consider yourself an animal too if you are thinking in that direction.

    Thirdly, I have never known children to be parasites. Miracles do happen and there’s no explanation science can give to certain circumstances.

  241. Dear Leonard, Thank you for your comment. “It is what it is. ” Blessings, Michael Clancy

  242. Chris says:

    Some of these comments are just unbelievable. I don’t usually add my thoughts on pages such as this but I just couldn’t leave this one alone……Whether the baby’s hand reached out or not is really not the major message I see in this wonderfully amazing picture. It is a reminder of how far we have come to save life even before leaving the womb. It is a wonderful message of hope and science. Why make this picture more than it should be???? Mr Clancy – it is a beautiful once in a life time capture of an incredible event – now, how any individual would like to interpret that event is up to them. It may have given options to pregnant women who did not realize these options existed. Surgeon’s save lives and get fame and fortune for it, Wartime photographers make $ from death and destruction – why shouldn’t Mr. Clancy be known for bringing this story of hope to the public???

  243. Dear Stephanie, Wow! I’m so sorry your loss. I will remember you in my prayers. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  244. RMG says:

    Dear Micheal,

    I quite agree with Rodney and I am in total awe at the amount of hatred vented out as a result of this miraculous picture. You’ve inspired some of us a whole lot and we do appreciate you. Keep doing the great work regardles of what any misunderstood,lowlife says or writes. God bless!

  245. Dear Rodney, Thank you. It’s unbelievable isn’t it? Blessings, Michael Clancy

  246. Dear Stephanie,
    Thank you for your comment.
    I was aggressively grabbed from behind and picked up off the floor as I took the pictures of the child reaching out. Invite me in, assault me, and lie about what really happened?
    The picture is actually Dr. Bruner attempting to tuck the hand back into the uterus before I could get any picture. The good doctor would have beat me, but the tiny hand squeezed and held the doctor’s finger just long enough for me to capture four pictures. Frame four is Dr. Bruner frantically signaling with his right hand for someone to stop me.
    Then, the story really gets complicated when you find out about the Life Magazine article/picture, “Born Twice.”
    Blessings, Michael Clancy

  247. Maxim says:

    You probably have no understanding of what is happening in the O.R Michael, I have seen surgeons and nurses “attack” people (which I assume in your definition here probably means, usher away) just for entering the sterile area, were you scrubbed in? Probably not, you were an observer. Any external germs entering the amniotic environment could be potentially lethal, there is just cause for the tension.
    The things that you are claiming violate any and all factual information – even mild anesthesia puts you completely under (as in basic low concentration Diprivan that is used in oral surgery) this is to say nothing of the power of full surgical inductive anesthesia which is much more potent. Furthermore the cranial nerves are not developed enough for complex response based motor control (which is what you have described) at this stage in development. If you would really like the “truth” go and study embryonic development, neurobiology, and anesthesiology, then we can talk about things. This is sensationalism and nothing more.

  248. RMG says:

    That’s a stupid remark for a job well done to save a human life. If you’re not ready to be a father, why have unprotected sex?wy not abstain from it totally and stop giving excuses for your foolishness?you must be a complete moron and idiot!

  249. Connie says:

    ROFL. I love the fact that of all I said, only the statement concerning “cows” received comment. Not a word on the original statement that asserted that a birth certificate is what confers humanity on a human being and that the lack thereof disqualifies the being from humanity, which was one of the things I was addressing.

    UMMM, Stephanyia, that’s not what I said. Try reading what I typed again. I believe you missed the word “one”. Cuckoo? Maybe, but not illiterate. By the way, do you wear leather shoes, carry leather handbags, wear leather belts, eat beef? Cows were bred and raised specifically to be butchered for those purposes. That would qualify for “intended destiny”, I believe. You know, it’s similar to planting vegetable seeds in a garden. They are planted with the purpose of receiving a consumable crop.

    Shaking my head…

  250. Stephanie says:

    I having been working as a surgical nurse for 16+ years. What the Mother receives, the Baby receives in a fractionated amount. I think it was the palmer reflex that was described in earlier posts. I have worked in various settings, including trauma surgery. The only thing in surgery that is certain is that nothing is certain. You can weigh “probability” and state “in my experience”. Many times surgery is a moving puzzle. I’m not talking about your basic appendectomy or gallbladder surgery. When you are working on the “outside of the box” patients or ground breaking surgeries you must be prepared.
    Back to the “in my experience”. In my experience, I am not at all concerned that the child/fetus has that reflex. I firmly believe that both mother and child were anesthetized. I can tell you as a circulating nurse: If as a visitor in my OR were upsetting the surgeon, getting in the way, or in anyway were causing a situation where you might contaminate anything–I would remove you immediately. My duty is entirely focused on the needs of that patient. That patient needs for the surgeon to be focused, sterility to be maintained, and for room to move freely. Having a photographer intraop would be a huge concern in any procedure due to the aforementioned.
    I’m not sure what went on in this particular surgery. I doubt anything sinister on anyone’s part. I love the photo. I think you know what you saw but, doubt the interpretation r/t my knowledge base.

    When my daughter was a toddler, our electricity when out. When it did, the carbon monoxide detector “screamed” (loud noise b/c it was operated by an electrical outlet) She thought the “scream” was the electricity leaving the house.

    Good luck and I look forward to the book! Great Photo!

  251. Maureen McHugh-Castro says:

    “Pro-choice” is used due to the negative cognotations associated with the word “abortion”.
    This is a beautiful picture that needs no words.

  252. Rodney says:

    As I started reading the comments I was totally caught off guard by the hateful messages. I’m completely bewildered as to how this photo could possibly invoke such hatred and anger?

    When I first saw this photo it was awe inspiring. I had feelings of hope, for samuel; gratitude for the medical staff; amazement that we live in a time that this procedure is possible.

    If this photo filled you with anger… Maybe its time to reevaluate your beliefs on the worth of human life.

  253. Bosslady says:

    I am angry at many people who are pro life because they have proven time and again that what is unborn is all that matters to them. How can a person bomb a clinic where abortions are carried out, threatening and sometimes taking the lives of Drs and patients and call themselves pro life?? I have another name for you…hypocrite. Whether abortion is legal or right won’t stop women from getting them, or have you forgotten your history? We’ve already been down that road.

  254. Bosslady says:

    “Only what is alive can grow.” Plants grow. Obviously they are alive, should we not pick them and eat them? Animals grow and are alive, should we not use them for food? The fact that something is alive and grows and has basic defense mechanisms and reflexes does not reflect consciousness. Abortion can and should be legal, as the alternative has proven itself to be much more dangerous. Or is the unborn life the only one that matters? This is a beautiful image, and should not be perverted to one cause or another, or used to further anyone’s argument. Congratulations to Mr. Clancy for having captured such a miraculous image, boo the the story he is trying to attach to it.

  255. Chris says:

    your comments are disgusting!!!

    he snapped the photo which means he OWNS the copyright unless the photographer had some other agreement with them. I assume he did not so he owns the copyright and can do what he wants with the photo.

  256. Chris says:

    maybe he could have given a copy to the surgeon BUT he snapped the photo which means he OWNS the copyright unless the photographer had some other agreement with them. I assume he did not so he owns the copyright.

  257. Stephanyia Olger says:

    UMMM Connieeeee would you mind explaining how you have come to the realization that God made cows just for human consumption?? Did you chill with God..get him to answer your hard hitting questions over a latte or two?? Just wondering because your statement was utterly ridiculous and furthermore puts you right up there with Sir Clancy in the “Cuckoo for cocoa puffs” roped off section!!

  258. marie says:

    HI Mr. Michael Clancy…I happen to know your story from a facebook article…and this is the first time I knew about the surgery. Thank you. If you had not made a big story, not all people will be aware of the available surgery. I believe your story and the picture. But I think you have to understand that Dr. Brunner could not support your picture because you took the picture and published it without their consent. He even asked you a copy and you wanted to charge him. I think you could have afforded $145 at that time, atleast as a courtesy for him. But all is done, you took the picture, circulated it and you are famous. I believe your story as everybody does (I’m sure), so I dont think you have to dwell on the matter of campaigning for people in Vanderbuilt to speak out. I believe photographers who are famous are classy, you made your profits before and was famous so act like a real one. Be humbled of what you have done because it is a big thing so I suggest, stick to your story and stay classy and you’ll be remembered more.

  259. Angela says:

    I am gald you mention “brian dead” individuals here. Are you aware that a tool for assessment of the “brain dead” patient is whether or not they possess these infant reflexes such as startle and palmar grasp? This means that those reflexes do not require consciousness to be elicited. The negativity here streams from the fact that Mr. Clancy is using this photo and story to personally profit. It is shameful that he is choosing to tarnish the reputation of these incredible doctors. He has twisted this into an abortion debate-the doctors here are innovating procedures to give options to parents who otherwise might be told an abortion would be the best course of action. The doctors are the heros here, not Mr. Clancy.

  260. gwen says:

    “[C]ows are fulfilling one of their God-given purposes and destinies when they are butchered and eaten.”

    This may be one of the most laughable things I have ever read.

  261. Stephanyia Olger says:

    First off I would just like to say that really the only words you actually deserve are none. What in actuality are you thinking you deserve from this photo op?? That is exactly what it is..a photo opportunity…not for making you wealthier, or more known, not for making people more in tune to what is really going amazing medical procedure that saved Samuel’s life in utero. I am completely blown away that you are even writing a book on this subject..why?? Take it from someone who has lost 2 babies at 6months to miscarriages..noone likes when something as beautiful and amazing as what actually happened in this photo to be tarnished by a photographer whose just trying to make a buck or two..what is this world coming to when someone will buy this book rather than just check it out at the library so you get nothing…You’re a pig and maybe someday your unborn child will be the next victim in a photograph..or a pedophile..or something in the news that makes people cringe..what will you say then when it happens to you!! Oh wait you’ll probably want to sell the movie rights..Disgusting!!!

  262. Leonard Lukomski says:

    The picture and information about the medical proceedure are both miracles of life. It is hard to believe that anyone would post negative comments about either. I was glad to read what you had to say about being in the operating room and experiencing it first-hand.

    If you had posted pictures of an adult hand grasping the surgeon’s hand near the end of surgery, would anyone have posted negative responses? I think not.

    Mankind can end life but can’t create life. Even if given something which only recently died, mankind cannot bring it back to life. An organ cannot be used for a transplant operation unless it is taken from a breathing living (although brain dead) entity. I say that because we have lost track of the fact that if it is living and breathing, it is a person, not an entity.

    This picture is what it is. A tiny hand reaching out of the womb and grasping the finger of the doctor.

  263. Angela says:

    I am shocked and slightly angered Mr. Clancy that you seem to be using this story for your own personal gain. This is certainly a great photo and you deserve credit for the shot, but you are defaming the character of these incredible surgeons and anesthesiologists and drawing more attention to the family who wishes to keep private the experience of their son for your monetary gain. You should be ashamed. You perhaps did not understand what you saw and should seek further medical knowledge of the incident. Dr. Bruner does not deny that you were in the room or that Samuel’s hand emerged from the uterus or that he wrapped his tiny fingers around the surgeon’s finger. He simply states that you have exaggerated the events and that the fetus was not conscious during the procedure. These reflexes are present very early in utero which explains the events. The fragility and complexity of that tiny human life is a miracle in itself as is the medical technology behind this procedure. Praise your God for those truths, instead of trying to create a story of your own. You greatly disappoint and I hope in the future you can understand the truth of what you witnessed. You have missed the real miracle in this story and are trying to make a hero of yourself instead.

  264. srolon says:

    They are showing a picture of a tiny human-being, to remind us that they are human too! …They are babies from the moment they start living inside the mother, not only when they are 21 weeks old. …What do you mean by “pro-choice”? Are babies like him given any “choice” to live or die when the mother decides to have an abortion at any time during the pregnancy? You can call it whatever you want, but it is still abortion and it is still killing a tiny inocent human-being who has no saying in the so called “pro-choice” to be killed. …That is sad!!!

  265. tom says:

    Yep, opportunistic low life and he knows it.

  266. tom says:

    These doctors are spending their lives advancing medicine and making better lives for children with disabilities, and you are personally attacking them for giving their account of the situation? You should be ashamed.

    How much of the proceeds from your public speaking appearances and book sales are you donating to medical research?

    Ill take a guess and say zero. What a load of crap.

  267. Angela says:

    Kimberly-as I responded to another individual, this is absolutely possible. The mother does require more medication, and she would have been properly dosed. The fetus was dosed through the placenta, so difficult to control the exact amount. Also, palmar grasp reflex is developed by 11 weeks gestation and does not require consciousness to elicit. Amazing how tiny and fragile yet so complex at the same time! Inspiring photo

  268. Angela says:

    Snowflake-I do not know whether the picture is a hoax or not but medically, it is absolutely possible. In this surgery, the mother is placed under general anesthesia which will cross the placenta to also sedate the fetus. It is therefore not easy to control/adjust the fetal dose so it is possible the fetus was more conscious than planned for. However, it is not necessary to be conscious to elicit the grasp reflex. This reflex appears around 11 weeks gestation and can be elicited by just placing an object against the palm.

  269. Lizelle says:

    I am a 22-year-old mother of a four year old girl. When I was pregnant my plan was to have an abortion and I almost had an abortion at 20 week. I saw this story circulating of my Facebook page and it brought me to tears as this baby was 21 weeks and he was basically alive. I was very intrigued by the story and immediately started to do research about it. I would love to read the book if it give details of what really happened. This story is very touching and it’s so sad that it could be fake.

    Thank You!
    This picture is just very very beautiful.

  270. Kimberly says:

    It’s hard to believe that this child could move and u would think the mother would come out of the medication before the child as she would need more then the infant (correct me if I am wrong no medial experience… Just a photographer) but looking at that photo studying that photo zooming in and out of that photo that child is grasping his hand! Holding it as tightly as a 21 week baby can! Even the baby’s thumb is flexed! T he doctor did not grab it to replace it in the womb… Why would he go from underneath if that’s the case?! And what he wrapped every little finger around his finger before he did! This is gods work! It can’t be explained and maybe this is what this man is afraid of not being able to give a reason for this! in his mind he probably believe that the child must have woken up! Maybe he fears punishment someone some where saying the child must have suffered or was maybe in pain?…. I can’t say for sure! But I believe you that this did indeed happened but I think it was god work no body’s fault pure miracle! If u have time I would love a copy!

  271. Yas says:

    Why to be like that!! Spend your time in something productive. If you don’t have something goos to say just close your mouth!

  272. Angela says:

    Why exactly were you “attacked” while trying to get a photo? What were you taking a photo with? I am a nursing student and would never dare to take a cell phone or camera into an operating room, let alone breach the privacy of the patients by publishing a photo which I took during their procedure. Perhaps you were “attacked” because that member of the medical staff was advocating for the patients’ privacy? That said, I think the picture and story is moving. How wonderful it is that this procedure can be done and I hope Samuel is well today.

  273. Noone ya says:

    some people will do anything for fame i guess…very well said…

  274. Jackie says:

    Well said my friend.

  275. Jackie says:


  276. Jackie says:

    Exactly!!! Abortions aren’t legal (and should not be performed ) at 21 weeks. I don’t get it???And for all of you “pro-lifers”, pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. I’ve never come across somebody that is pro-abortion. Your uneducated propaganda is sad.

  277. Adam says:

    Michael Clancy, I recently found out that I was going to be a father, and while it was not a planned pregnancy (I’m not married and I’m 24), I am embracing this new path of life with open arms. I want to thank you, and others like you, because you stand as a shining example of what I don’t what my son to be like when he grows up. You can take your blessings and go fuck yourself. Same with any other asshole that hides behind religion or faith so that they can tell others how to live their lives. Oh and just because your last name is Clancy doesn’t mean you can write, I’m pretty sure Thomas Clancy’s fiction has more realism than a single word of your worthless garbage.

  278. Sam says:

    What does any of this have to do with Abortion?????????

  279. Dear Maxim, Thank you for your comment. Let’s see, I was attacked by a member of the medical staff as they tried to stop me from getting any picture of the child’s hand. What presumptive conclusion would you draw from that piece of information?
    Dr. Bruner chose his role in this story. He has paid dearly.
    Maybe you wouldn’t want to “bother” the doctor for the “truth”, I’m another story. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  280. Mary Petrini says:

    Dear Bodie, Please finish your sentence “It’s still a woman’s right to choose…killing her baby.” Because in all verity that’s what it is. And how does partially delivering a baby feet first then stabbing it in the back of the head that is still inside the womb, technicality, oh yeah not born yet…and sucking out its brains to kill it a medical necessity for the mother? Remember we each are responsible for the lies and evils we support.

  281. Dear Timothy, Thank you for your comment and for taking the time to seek the truth. Please post alink to your site when you have it up. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  282. Dear Hollie, Thank you for posting your comment. My book is titled “Hand of Hope, The Story Behind The Picture.” The following link is to the Amazon listing.

    Blessings, Michael Clancy

  283. You took time out of your day to leave a post calling me a name. I truly hope tomorrow is a better day for you. Be Blessed! Michael Clancy

  284. Dear Jennifer,
    Thank you for your comment. This surgical procedure is not a life saving procedure. It’s called Maternal Fetal Surgery to correct spina bifida. You can find out more about the procedure if you Google it. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  285. MWB says:

    Abortion supporters would not like any pics or stories to surface to support the truth that fetus’ (babies) are alive at the very moment of conception….life begins at conception because only what is alive can grow. The only way abortion can be legal is if the baby is only alive at the moment of the first breath. I never understood how for instance a woman could stand in a courtroom and argue for an abortion and then stand in the courtroom and argue that a man should be found guilty of murder that killed her unborn child! It either is or either ain’t!

  286. Dear Jonarita, Thank you for posting your comment. It’s encouraging to know that people are talking about the picture on FaceBook. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  287. Dear Emily, Thank you for taking the time to post your opinion. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  288. Dear Jordan, Thank you for your comment, I will email you a file of the picture. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  289. Jordan says:

    This is incredibly beautiful. I’m a freelance artist and considering using the picture as a credited reference, but not for profit. Do you think you could email it to me? God bless!

  290. Emily Kilo says:

    This is a bunch of shit. Doing a little bit of research of my own shows that you are using something to make a quick buck. Get over yourself and I hope your book is a total flop.

  291. Jonarita Isabelita R. Crave says:

    Hello Mr. Clancy, greetings from the Philippines!

    With limited knowledge about medicine, and about the said congenital disease, I could sense the authenticity of your story and the photographs you’ve published about the story circulating in facebook for the past week now. Thank you for everything about it Mr. Clancy, God Bless you!

  292. Jennifer says:

    Instead of trying to get your 15 mins. of fame why don’t you realize that a childs life was saved by this procedure. Things happen in surgery and while they may have horrible consequences, this time they did not. Why are you looking at this from that prospective instead of thinking of the altenative!!! And by the way if you can take the time to post the names, pictures, and phone numbers of the doctors involved so that people can find the “truth” why cant you man up and post yours as well so the world can call you to find out what the “truth” is about your intrest in this story!!!

  293. Jennifer says:


  294. Kristena says:

    Well said!

  295. DC Herath says:

    In England we have a name for individuals such as you TWAT! Medical procedures are medical procedures, this one is not an argument for or against abortion, and before you comment on this I would suggest as a son of an OBS and GYN physician that did not conduct abortions my anger is not at the abortion discussion but rather the loss on focus on a good scientific procedure. Good luck on your book.

  296. shellbel says:

    Really you think it is the first guess what there are countries out there that allow abortion right into the third trimester. Doesn’t make it okay. I agree with choice but do I agree with a woman being able to have an abortion because she CHOSE to go and have sex and get pregnant NOPE I don’t. There are certain situations that merit abortion I believe. I am not sure for me there would be for me but sometimes if you see no other way you make choices you wouldn’t of otherwise. As for Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. what do you want I ampretty sure you aren’t out there stopping it either. You are making a generalization that people are not pro-life you do not know any of us personally so do you know what any of us are doing in regards to the war. Here’s my deal these countries have been fighting since before Christ what business do we have sticking our noses in it. Our troops are over there losing their lives for nothing in my opinion but the President/Prime Minister doesn’t seem to care what any of us have to say.

  297. shellbel says:

    I am not really sure what cows have to do with babies I think you may want read what everyone is talking about here. I cannot believe that you would even compare a parasite to a fetus. To even say that children are not miracles tell that to the woman that has been trying to get pregnant for years and finally does. I believe in choice however that being said if a woman chooses to go out and have sex and ends up getting pregnant then guess what you made a choice knowing what can come out of that choice know you have to live with that choice. However, if a woman gets assaulted and a pregnancy results out of that then absolutely I can understand why they would choose to end the pregnancy would I personally choose that can’t say if I would or wouldn’t. As for you saying you have worked with those in poverty and see people with 7+ kids and wonder where their next meal is going to come from sure hope you don’t share this speel(spelling) as words of encouragement. I am sure if they knew they would be in this state 7 kids would not of been what they did. Bottom line children are not parasites or cows or whatever you choose to call them. You were a fetus once too pretty sure your parents didn’t think of you as a parasite but a blessing. Just saying!

  298. Snowflake says:

    You think? LOL. It’s only my specualtion,nothing more…

  299. shellbel says:

    I am not going to say whether or not the picture is real or false however that being said because someone looks like someone you have seen does not mean a thing people get mistaken for people all the time. Also, at 21 weeks a fetus can move around and be felt by the mother so that being said it has occured that an adult has come out from anethesia so why can’t a 21 week fetus do it. 21 weeks like it or not it is a baby that I know; will I say whether or not this picture is real I don’t know I was not there in the room during the surgery will I call Mr. Clancy or Dr. Bruner liars absolutely not it is not my place. If in fact this true I think it is sad that a doctor would deny such an amazing thing.

  300. Hollie says:

    Hello Mr. Clancy,

    I am currently studying to obtain my Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree, and came across a link to this photo via Facebook. I found the photo so captivating that I have done a good bit of research on the story and came across your personal website. I would love to read you book! As an advocate of life, you can understand why this photo is so touching to me. I am shocked to read such negative comments on your page, and find it so sad that the media had such a negative view of your work. Please keep speaking up for life!!! You are speaking for millions of unborn children who do not have a voice, and I commend you for this!!

    What is the name of your book?

    Thank you again!!!

  301. Timothy Lee says:

    Blessings as well to Dr. Joseph Bruner, Dr. Ray Paschall, Dr. Noel Tulipan, John Howser and Larry Goldberg.

  302. Timothy Lee says:

    A school friend of mine has just posted this touching photo along with full story on her facebook wall stating this ((“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 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, totally immobile..”))

    As Always, I copy and paste for surety to any and all stories that amaze me and fully research them to be assured of them not being a hoax, as to warn others, and/or, to be sure before I share what I feel is applicable, to be fully correct. I see you have commented on the fact that posted that the complete story is indeed, untrue.

    I find an interest, not that it is going to make a huge difference to a lot of the world, but for the sake of Samuel the miracle, as my son is a miracle as well , his family, and my own conscience, to share the “Correct” Story with as many people as time will allow. This story has touched my life, as trials occur, and has fully influenced me to gather photos, information, and facts on my first born, Alexander, who was borne 15 years ago with Gastroschisis. I plan to blog a full story over the next year, and sooner have information posted to facebook on My Miracle Sun with photos! Blessings Michael Clancy , Samuel, Family, and anyone who knows you. AS IS

    Peacefully wholehearted,
    Timothy P. Lee

  303. D says:

    Children are blessings, given to us by the Grace of God! I hope for you, Jesse, that you pray regarding your “beliefs” about human life and its beginnings. God bless you all!

  304. D says:

    Very well stated!! To hear someone else speak up for those who have no voice YET is awesome!

  305. Maxim says:

    The picture is good, there is no question about that. However, you need to stick to your day job, as a scientist with a strong medical background I take issue with the presumptive conclusions that you are drawing from all of this, all of which have very minimal empirical backing. It seems to me that you are using what can best be considered a miraculous and opportune moment to provide a pedestal for your own political inclinations.
    I also consider that posting the doctor’s contact information for the express purpose of bothering them for the “truth” constitutes you as being an agent to harassment.

  306. Kathy says:

    A child is not a parasite. God has created a woman’s body to be able to handle the demands of a child in-utero. A child does not suck the life out of a woman. The body is not created to handle the demands of a parasite which sucks the life out of you. If children are parasites in the womb, then they are afterward as well. Having children is not a sin. A government that keeps their people in poverty so that they cannot feed their families is a sin. Life begins at conception. It is the way God created it. Children are an amazing miracle, and gift. My guess is that you don’t have children and don’t realize how wonderful it is to be able to have them. I had a difficult time with my pregnancies. My children are miracles, because the disease that I had dictated that I could not have them, but I did anyway. They are in no way, shape, or form, a parasite.

  307. Marye says:

    I just wanted to thank you for using such an amazing gift from God with your talent to take an extraordinary photograph of someone else’s amazing gift from God. My son was born was eight weeks premature due to complications that arose during the later part of my pregnancy. I was told I would not be able to conceive prior to my pregnancy and when we found out we were expecting I was terrified and thrilled at the same time that God had blessed me. I was told at a routine exam there were complications and was sent to a hospital more equipped for to handle a delivery that early nearly an hour away from where we were. All I could do was pray that God would bring my son through this, even if it meant I may not, just allow him to be healthy enough for a delivery that soon. After preparing his lungs for with steriods for early entry into this world, my induction and lengthy labor, my son was born at 5.8lbs and 18.5inches in length at 32 weeks gestation. His breathing problems lasted on through the night and was removed from his ventilator the next morning. Everyone was in absolute awe at how large he was in both weight and height and was breathing on his own so quickly. He is now six years old, my only child, and is the light in my world. He scores an average of 5-7 goals per game in soccer, scores 103 on his math tests, can recite his states alphabetically, and loves to learn different languages. He loves to read, sing, play and be the healthiest and happiest little boy he knows. I can not imagine a life without him as I’m sure the Armas family can relate. I thank you so very much for sharing this photograph as a reminder to all the mothers in the world (and all the medical staffing care that assists in the process) that carrying a child in your body and bringing that child into the world is an absolute blessing from God!! While working in the medical field myself, I understand how too often providers have difficulty drawing the line between their own personal spiritual beliefs and the textbook science they have come to rely on day in and day out, however, I’m a firm believer that when these miracles happen its because of a higher purpose not higher education. I hope that the providers involved will come to terms with their own self denial and find forgiveness and receive grace in their shame for not being more truthful to begin with.

  308. Dear Adams, I know, it’s frightening the things people will say. It’s strictly for shock value. Blessings, Michael Clancy

  309. Hi Linda, Thank you for your email and for putting a link to my web site when you see the picture un-credited. It was great meeting you and everyone at the Life Choices banquet. Blessings, Michael

  310. adams says:

    Dear Michael,

    Michael is my brother’s name too. Am writing from Nigeria where the tide of abortions seems to be rising to unbelievable levels too. I’ve posted this picture and link to this site on my facebook account. I think this is a touching story, even though I wish it had little less controversy surrounding it. I’m a medical student and I think I’ll start going to the theatre with my camera too. Something learned!

  311. adams says:

    I cant believe a reader compared humanity with cows and worms. It’s so so pathetic

  312. Linda Jackman says:

    Hi Michael, I hope you remember meeting me at a life choices banquet. Congrats on the 12 yr anniversary and the book. I know this photo is making an impact on the hearts of so many since I see it circulating on facebook but with out a link to you. So when I do see it, I am sure to add a link. Take care Michael, and keep up the great work.

  313. Dear C, Thank you for your comments! Congratulations! I truly believe everyone knows it is a baby. Some choose to believe they are more important. Blessings, Michael Clancy

    PS- Please do use the picture in your presentation. I will email you a copy.

  314. Dear Andrea, Congratulations! I am blessed to be able to share this picture. I will send you a copy to share with your congregation. Blessings, Michael

  315. Dear Peggy, Thank you for your comment. I couldn’t agree more! Dr. Bruner was furious because the picture interfered with the Life Mag story. Blessings, Michael

  316. Dear Envy, Thank you for posting a comment. Please do post on your FB page! Michael

  317. Dear Does, I appreciate you posting the Snopes link quoting Dr. Bruner denying the validity of my picture. The snopes article quoyes Dr. Bruner when he first denied my picture. Michael Clancy

  318. Dear Snowflake, Thanks for your comment, I think. You’re entitled to your beliefs. Michael Clancy

  319. Dear Lori,
    Thank you for leaving a comment! Blessings, Michael

  320. Beth, Thank you for your kind words! I will email you a copy of the picture.

    Blessings, Michael

  321. Beth says:

    This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! great photo on your part. It disgusts me that the dr.’s are denying that this happened. If possible I too would love a picture, or emailed copy, my daughter will be so amazed
    when I show her this in the morning. :).brings a smile to my face

  322. Lori Unghire says:


  323. Lori Unghire says:

    Keep the faith. I heard you speak in CT at a conference. It was a pleasure meeting you. I believe every word. Remember there are people TODAY, who say the Holocaust didn’t happen, some people says the twin towers being attached didn’t happen. God knows all truth, and he knows what you did is true. Keep the faith and the truth shall set you free! Keep up the good work!

  324. Snowflake says:

    I recieved this message,minus the picture in an email. Although I’ve heard of this type of surgery,I too have a child born with spina bifida,I believe this picture to be false. Because first off the doctor looks like Jim Bob from that show 19 and Counting. Second, how does a 21 week fetus come out from anthesia (sp?)

  325. Envy says:

    Michael, thnx for taking such a wonderful photo of ‘life’.
    I have passion for reading on medicals and would like to go deep on the problem of case and also would dwelve in the issue of tangle.
    Later, when I get enough insight into this, I would sure call docs in case to try to find our facts, without intentions of hurting the boy or his family in case, they deserve peace.
    P.S. will post a note on the subject with your pic on my FB page, hope you ownt mind…if you have objections, pl let me know by mail…will remove note. Thnx

  326. Connie says:

    @Jesse – You tagging an unborn baby as a parasite may be the most despicable thing I have ever read. As for your comparison to cows, cows are fulfilling one of their God-given purposes and destinies when they are butchered and eaten. They also do not have a human soul. As for a baby not being a “child” until it is issued a birth certificate, I guess that means that all of those who were born and lived prior to the issuing of birth certificates were not people, human beings, children, etc? How pathetic. Abortion kills a human being. Try as you might, you will never be able to do away with that FACT. Truth remains true regardless of who does or does not believe it. Truth remains true even if NO ONE believes it.

  327. Peggy says:

    Dear Michael,
    Thank you for your pipcture and for sharing wit with the world. My own son is 11 now and I recall seeing your lovely picture when I was expecting him and I felt a strong connection to it. Thank you also for your courageous and continuous fight for the truth. I was shocked to read about the opposition from the very doctors who were there and cannot imagine why they wouldn’t be rejoicing the fact that they are part of this beautiful picture.

  328. Peggy says:

    Thank you Rachel for your eloquent response.

  329. Andrea M says:

    Dear Michael,
    May The Lord continue to bless you and use you! What an amazing picture at an appointed time that God had you to be a part of. My husband and I are expecting our first baby after trying for over 4.5 years. My husband is also a Pastor in Concord, NC. Would we be able to have a copy of your picture to show the congregation?

  330. Jesse Shaffer says:

    Cows have legs, lungs, liver, eyes and kidneys. It doesn’t make them any less tasty. I would like to know what is your fondest memory from fetushood? No, nothing coming to mind. What about before you were born? I you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. If you listen closely, there are little miracles happening in trailerparks across this country as we speak. Thunk!!! I think i’ll call him trucker jr. Children are not miracles, they a part of natural life. Just like sex is a biological part of life. Anyone feel bad when you kill a tapeworm living in your bowels? It’s a life. And not unlike your unborn child, it too is a parasite. It not a child until it is issued a birth certificate. I have worked with people who live in poverty. When you meet people who have 7+ kids and they are all are wondering where their next meal is coming from, it makes you think there is really something wrong wth the way we are doing things. By the way these poor people, are of the Catholic, I don’t believe in birth control demographic. I would rather a woman have the right to choose than have a child raided in an evironment that cultivates that level of depravity.

    –Believing in imaginary people is never the best course of action.

  331. C says:

    Hello, I have to do a presentation on prenatal surgical correction of spina bifida and would like to use your picture if you don’t mind. Thank you.

  332. C. says:

    I found this as I’m 21 weeks along now with our son. We did not think we would have a biological child together and he was such a wonderful surprise! I am in awe of this picture. I was raised by a super liberal, pro-choice mother, but I have known all along this little guy inside me is a PERSON and a blessing. Thank you for posting this photo. I hope more will appreciate that the “least of these” are human beings, not “blobs of tissue.”

  333. Dear Jemimah,
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Please do use the picture in your slideshow. I’ll email you a copy. Blessings, Michael

  334. Jemimah says:

    Hi Clancy
    This is such an amazing reminder of how delicately intimate our God is! wow I get goosebumps when I see this picture.
    I am creating a slideshow for a poem “Haze” by Carl Sandburg and would like to use your picture to represent the unborn – “the future”
    Thank you

  335. Marissa Greene says:

    . IS IS ABOUT POPULATION CONTROL PEOPLE> One world order is almost here. You would not be able to buy nor sell unless you receive the mark of the best which is 666, so people, what are you going to do? There is nothing we can do!! After this life there is another one, eternal life as it was in the beginning, as it was in the garden of Eden. Do not concern yourself with going GREEN TO SAVE THE EARTH, it will be destroyed as Sodom and Gomorrah, because of our sinful ways.The individuals who once to bring about this one world order has no knowledge. They all is flesh and blood as we all are and will die as we all will. Satan is using them. BUT IF WE DO NOT TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS, WE SHALL BURN FOREVER. SAYS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.

  336. maelyn says:

    Well said Rachel…. well said.

  337. Believer says:


    you couldn’t have put no better. Well done. God bless you all.

  338. Dear Phil,

    Thank you very much for your comment and email.

    I don’t have much contact with Samuel and his family. They have done a very good job of keeping Samuel out of the limelight. The media can be relentless and I don’t blame them one bit.

    Fox did an article about Samuel and I will post the link for you to read:,2933,519181,00.html

    Regarding the effects of his surgery ……. Samuel was diagnosed with severe hydrocephalous, fluid buildup on his brain, at nineteen weeks in utero. The fluid was removed during the surgery at twenty-one weeks and he was born with no sign of hydrocephalous. He has never had a shunt. This is an incredibly positive result because a byproduct of hydrocephalous is brain damage. He wears light leg braces and is sometimes in a wheelchair.

    Vanderbilt, where Samuel had his surgery, just went through a National Institute of Health Study called the, “MOMS Clinical Research Trials” and received a positive outcome allowing the surgery to once again become an elective procedure. You could google the study and find out more.

    I will definitely send you the link when we have the book available, thank you for asking.


    Michael Clancy

  339. Dear SU,
    Wow, congratulations! Thanks you for taking the time to bless me with your comment. Michael

  340. Thank you Betty, you’re too kind.

  341. Dear Sandy,

    Thank you for leaving a comment. Please do use the picture in your project. I will email you……….


  342. Thanks Rachel. You said it better than I could.

  343. Dear Maka,
    Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope to have my book translated to spanish.

  344. Dear Edward,
    Thank you very much for your comment. I’ll email you a copy of the picture.

  345. Edward Appleby says:

    Hi Michael,
    I was wondering if I may use you image of the fetal hand grabing the doctors finger as an illustration in defining trust. If there is a fee let me know. But if I may use it for free I will link the image to your website. My website is an investigation of how one may define love, and attempting to spur one on in discovering who their gods are, whether it is God ( a person) or not we all have one. I try to stay objective, as far as not making that decision for my audiance, but to cause them to discover where they get worth and find out if it is a true interest and who fathers their dreams.

  346. Dear Ber,
    Thank you for your comment. Please do use the picture for your research paper. The title of the picture is, “Miracle.” It was published in 2001 on my web site. The initial publication was in 1999, in newspapers. Please email me if you need a copy of the pic, or if I may be of further assistance.
    Michael Clancy

  347. Ber says:

    Hi Michael, I’m writing a research paper on Abortion:The Legal Holocaust. Would love to include your photo of Samuel’s hand. I’m using the MLA format for to cite and I’ll need more details on the photo. Info needed: Would you mind if you could give me a little more info, like what is the title of the photo and the year it was published on your website? If the info for ‘Publishing Company’ is relevant, that too, please. Thanks!

  348. Maka says:

    Gracias!!!; Gracias por compartir un momento tan sublime. Espero que tu libro en algún momento sea traducido al español para que llegue a mayor cantidad de gente.

    Beautifull!!! Tanks.

  349. Rachel says:

    You said: “Most abortions happen in the first trimester”
    Fact: Ripping the arms and legs off a first trimester baby is still wrong. The unborn child in the first trimester has limbs, organs, eyes, etc. Many of these body parts are sold to universities and organizations that do “Research” on the children, even when the heart is still beating.

    You said: “If they happen in the second or third trimester, it’s usually for medical reasons”
    Fact: Not true. When there is a RARE problem that is causing harm to the mother, we try to save BOTH lives. Not destroy/murder a baby. You don’t partially deliver a baby just to rip it apart and claim that by partially delivering a child that it is saving a mother. There are medical procedures to remove the child and to try to save both lives.

    You said: “It’s still a woman’s right to choose”
    Fact: Unfortunately our laws have made it a legal right to choose the death of an innocent person, but this is not uncommon. This happens only when we dehumanize other people and then we feel the right to murder. i.e. Nazi Germany, Owning slaves, etc.

    You said: “How many of you support the occupation of Iraq? The occupation of Palestine? The invasion of Afghanistan? The invasion of Iraq. yeah, that’s what I thought. ”
    Fact: Most people don’t want their sons/fathers/daughters/mothers to be in other countries being shot at. And as for myself, I don’t support the “occupations”, etc. Also, you assume you know what people are already going to say and instead of asking the question, is the “fetus” a human or is it something else? You obfuscate and try to deflect what the real question is.

    You said: Proving once again that you are not pro-life… only pro-fetus.
    Fact: Fetus is the latin word for “little one”. We are pro-zygote, we are pro-embryo, we are pro-fetus, we are pro-infant, we are pro-toddler, we are pro-child, we are pro-teenager, we are pro-adult, we are pro-elderly. We love people in all stages of life. A child is not less of a human than a teenager. You are not less of a human because of your age, your development, your location, your size, etc.

    I ask you to consider your heart, to consider your motivations, to consider why you are angry at this website and the people who are pro-life.
    How old was your child when she died?
    You call yourself a feminist and you strive for the rights of women. Please consider, do you strive for the rights of ALL women or only those you deem worthy or “fully” human? What if a woman who was mentally challenged was being abused by a man? Does she deserve our protection or not because she might be less than a fully functioning woman? Does a little girl in the womb of her mother deserve our protection if she is not fully functioning the way and adult woman would?

    Why do you think a “fetus” should have less rights to life than we do?

    I ask you to consider this because it is hard to actually spend time thinking through the implications of what you are advocating.

    My last question for you would be to define abortion and to define the words you use in that definition.

    Thank you for your consideration and time.


  350. Dear Dianna,

    I’m humbled by your request and I would love to read your book. Thank you. I’ll email you ….

  351. Dianna Young says:

    I have recently published a pro-life book entitled, Muted Grey. I would consider it a great honor if you would review this book. If you are interested, I will gladly send you an advance review copy. Best, Dianna Young

  352. Boadie MacLeod says:

    Most abortions happen in the first trimester. If they happen in the second or third trimester, it’s usually for medical reasons. It’s still a woman’s right to choose.

    By the way, how many of you support the occupation of Iraq? The occupation of Palestine? The invasion of Afghanistan? The invasion of Iraq? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Proving once again that you are not pro-life… only pro-fetus.

  353. Sandy Macy says:

    I am a special needs teacher. I am also an artist. May I paint a picture using your photo. I am converting to Catholicism to and I feel inspired to paint a series of paintings. I would be incorporating the image in with other images for a theme-based project. Of course, I will make sure I give credit to your photo.
    Is there anyway you could send me a photo? Maybe of a different angle too?

    thank you


  354. muhsin says:


  355. Tim,

    Thank you! The Knights Of Columbus are an amazing organization. It’s been an honor to be able to share the picture and play even the smallest part in bringing an awareness to the miracle of life.


    Michael Clancy

  356. Tim Crews says:

    This photo was THE tide turning one in the struggle against abortions. God bless you. I intend to purchase your book as soon as it is available in August. I am also very proud that this photo was on the cover of Columbia magazine, a publication of the Knights of Columbus.

  357. Philip Uren says:

    12th anniversary of the photo… I am interested to hear how Samuel (now 11 years old?) is going. Obviously the publicity of a minor will require an element of obscuring details to respect their privacy, What improvements did the surgery have on his spina bifida condition? The story indicates that this operation was one of many regarding this procedure, how are the other operation recipients going, what is the success rate of the procedure? I look forward to the release of your book in 1 month’s time. Please send me a link so that I can purchase the book. As I live in Australia, I may need to purchase it online.

  358. SU says:

    Thank you for your picture. I’ve never seen it or heard of it before. OMM posted it on FB today. I was glad to show my young children what their little brother’s arm looks like right now in my belly. What a gift!

  359. Betty says:

    Hi Michael,

    While we all are familiar with this photograph, I didn’t know the full story until a friend told me about you this morning. You were kind enough to send her two 8×10 photos of that remarkable event some years ago.

    My friend and I were talking because another hero, Senator Pence, has, after being voted down two years in a row, made progress in efforts to defund Planned Parenthood permanently after numerous videos surfaced over several years showing would-be pimps securing promises of on-call abortion from clinicians for their underage prostitutes, (often illegals). has information to help each citizen counteract this taxpayer funded enterprise.

    Thank you, Michael for perservering!

    “The Womb Is A Room Not A Tomb”

    Betty from CO

  360. Julia says:

    I believe you. God performs miracles everyday and satan uses people to deny them. Every life is sacred. My father sent me your picture in an email today. I had never seen it before. Over a decade later, Samuel’s hand is still just as powerful. Never lose faith. God chose you for a reason. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

    Posted Jun 27, 10:07 AM

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