Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:December 29th, 2008 11:28 EST

Baby Born With Foot In Brain

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Dr. Paul Grabb, a pediatric brain surgeon, said he was surprised when he discovered a small foot growing inside the brain of 3-day-old Sam Esquibel.

"The foot literally popped out of the brain," Grabb told TheDenverChannel Wednesday.


The appendage threatened the newborn`s life.

When Grabb performed the life-saving surgery at Memorial Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs, he was in for another surprise: he also found what appeared to be parts of an intestine in the folds of the infant`s tiny brain, in addition to another developing foot, hand and thigh."

Thirty or even twenty years ago nobody who have known about this incredible medical case except for the parents and the medical staff.

But since the advent of cable news outlets and the Internet, stories like these receive tremendous amount of media attention. In the old days an article would appear in a newspaper and then disappear from the public`s consciousness. But in the digital age an article published online will never disappear, it will live forever in cyberspace. I still receive email from editorials that I published online almost a decade ago.

This story will follow little Sam Esquibel around for the rest of his life, are those of us who cover it contributing to Sam`s future misery? When Sam is in high school his friends may not google "foot in brain", but they may search his name out of curiosity and find out about his unusual birth.

As an editorialist for a newspaper and a contributor to a couple of Web sites I don`t feel any guilt for writing about strange stories that involve private citizens. The public has an appetite for these type of sensational accounts, and I am simply sating their curiosity. In my defense I must point out that I write on a broad range of subjects: Everything from global warming to politics to flying saucers.

All of us, journalists, public figures and the public at large must accept the reality that privacy is quickly becoming a relic of the past. Even those of us who place a high premium on privacy discover that personal facts about us are available online. How many of you have friends who without your consent have published photos and short bios about you in their MySpace or Facebook pages?

I can only hope that Sam grows up to be a normal in every way, and that he will be strong enough to deal with insensitive jokes about the freakish condition of his birth.

Comment on this story, by emailing Judyth Piazza at  or join the SOP friend network with your Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN or one ID account located on the front page of