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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Light of hope

Nurse Clarissa Huarcaya (30), prepares a patient who will undergo high-risk surgery. The baby in her womb is going to be operated on, and she is barely 20 weeks pregnant. The fetus has a congenital malformation called "spina bifida", a condition that if left untreated condemns children to develop hydrocephalus, not having mobility in their lower limbs, not controlling urine and stool, and other complications in the brain. Under the dangling light from the operating room, surgeons will struggle to restructure the tiny tissues of the fetus' spinal cord that have not developed normally and are exposed on the fetus's back. To do this, they must do an operation similar to the cesarean and reach the baby to perform microsurgery.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Camera: X-T2
Copyright: © Miguel Mejía Castro