When a legally blind couple received the news that they were expecting a child, they were blown away.
Ana Paula Silveira and Alvaro Zermiani from Brazil told InsideEdition that they became so nervous at the thought of not being able to see their unborn child on an ultrasound that would help them bond with their son.
“My major concern was not only not being able to see on the ultrasound, but I also didn’t know if someone else would really be able to describe to me what my baby looked like,” Silveira told InsideEdition.com. But with the help of modern technology, the couple was able to experience their baby in a completely revolutionary way.
Silveira and Termini were offered the opportunity to have a 3D-printed ultrasound, through GE Healthcare’s technology, at an institute in Rio De Janeiro. The man behind the technology is Dr. Heron Werner, a Brazilian obstetrician, and gynecologist. He would be helping the couple to meet their unborn child through an ultrasound that they could feel.
“With the 3D printing I didn’t have to rely on someone’s description. I could have something that was real and I could see in the way I am familiar with,” Silveira said. The system is called GE Healthcare’s Voluson E10 and it’s the first ultrasound system in the field to have a 3D printing capability built directly into the system.
“There was a 3D-printing project going on in 2007, where Computed Tomography was being used to image fossils and mummies at the National Museum of Brazil,” Werner said. “I thought, ‘Why not use this technology to print fetuses?” So in 2012, Werner began providing the service for visually impaired women at no cost.
“There was a TV interview with Dr. Heron about his work,” Silveira said. “I wasn’t pregnant yet at the time, but my husband and I kept the idea in mind for when it happened. One year later when we found out we were pregnant, we managed to get in touch with Dr. Werner who agreed to follow me through my pregnancy stages.” Silveira was provided three ultrasounds for each trimester of pregnancy that the couple was able to take home with them.
“As you know for blind people, touch is really important, and Dr. Heron provided an experience that we otherwise could not have had. It was life-changing,” Zermiani told InsideEdition.com. The couple’s son, Davi Lucas Zermiani is now 3 years old and after showing him his ultrasounds of himself, he is in love with them. “He knows it’s a model of him and we explained to him why it was made,” Silveira said. “He’s proud of it and he shows it to his friends.”
Watch another blind couple feel their baby via 3D-ultrasound in the video below:
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[Featured Image Credit: GE Healthcare]