A Legally Blind Couple Shared A "Life-Changing" Experience Feeling Their Unborn Baby With A 3D-Printed Sonogram

I could have something that was real and I could see in the way I am familiar with."

Whether or not you believe in love at first sight, Ana Paula Silveira and Alvaro Zermiani, a legally blind couple, have proven the existence of love at first touch.

They got to experience it themselves three years ago when revolutionary technology enabled them to hold a 3D-printed sonogram of their baby.

An institute in Rio de Janeiro provided the Brazilian couple this unique opportunity, pioneered by Dr. Heron Werner, a Brazilian obstetrician and gynecologist, through GE Healthcare's technology. After witnessing a 3D-printing project in 2007 that imaged fossils and mummies at the National Museum of Brazil, he was inspired to apply that same science to fetuses. In 2012, he began giving visually-impaired women and their partners 3D-printed ultrasounds, completely free of charge. 

When Silveira became pregnant in 2013, she and Zermiani remembered a TV interview with Dr. Werner and reached out to him for sonogram assistance. "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. 

"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."

Werner agreed to follow Silveira through her pregnancy stages and provided three ultrasounds for each trimester. "...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 the publication.

Not only was the couple able to take the 3D-printed sonograms home with them, but after their son, Davi Lucas Zermiani, was born, they showed them to him. Now three years old, Davi is proud of his 3D-printed ultrasound models and even shows them off to his friends.  

Cover image via Inside Edition.

(H/T:Inside Edition)