DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     December 14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 237

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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Parents Report that Samuel Armas is Doing Well

        NASHVILLE, DEC 12 (ZENIT) - The fetus whose picture was seen all over the Internet is now a healthy baby boy. Samuel Armas touched the hearts of America when he reached out of his mother's womb to grip the finger of a surgeon while still a fetus of 21 weeks.

        In early November, Samuel underwent pre-natal surgery to correct a case of spina bifida, a condition that affects about 0.2% of infants. The surgery was innovative and dangerous: the doctors removed the uterus from his mother, drained the amniotic sac, operated on the child, and finally returned the child and the uterus to the body of the mother.

        The case caught national attention due to a photo taken near the end of the surgery. As the surgeon replaced the uterus, a tiny hand reached out to clutch his finger. Of course, if the mother had had a different mindset, a child at that age could have been legally aborted throughout the United States. Fox talk show host Matt Drudge was fired when he insisted on showing the photo on national television to make this same point.

        The child's parents have written this progress report: "Samuel arrived on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6:25 pm at Northside Hospital weighing 5 lbs 11 oz and 20 1/2 " long. He was born at 36 weeks but came into the world screaming his head off! He did not have to spend any time in a neonatal unit and came home with us on Monday, Dec. 6. After viewing an ultrasound of his brain, Samuel's neurosurgeon was very optimistic as he does not have any hydrocephalus and the brain malformation has resolved. He is moving his legs very well from the hips and some from the knees. He was frank breech (folded in half) in the womb and the orthopedist feels that he has a good chance for walking. He will begin physical therapy next week in order to work out some of the stiffness in his legs that was a result of his being folded in half in the womb. He is also nursing very well."

        The parents also thank everyone for their prayers and support. A new photo of Samuel, though somewhat less dramatic than the one that caught the nation's attention in mid-November. For that story, go to Dr. Frank Joseph's webpage ZE99121224

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 14, 1999       volume 10, no. 237


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