Karen Trippass laughing with Bill Smith



A visually impaired mother-to-be experiences her baby scan for the very first time.

6 min
Imaging has the power to change the world, and the way we see it. Bill Smith, a world leading ultrasound specialist, helps visually impaired Karen Trippass, who is expecting her second child, experience something she has previously been unable to: an ultrasound scan of her unborn daughter. You can watch Karen’s story here.
Bill Smith and Karen Trippass looking downward towards the relief print
Watch episode four of World Unseen with ultrasound specialist Bill Smith and Karen Trippass

In the film, the ultrasound scan of Karen’s baby daughter is displayed on the wall. It shows the baby’s head, her folded arms, and the placenta on a dark background.

Using Canon PRISMAelevate XL software and Arizona printer series, the scan becomes a tactile experience, helping Karen visualise her daughter’s face in her mind’s eye.

A baby scan is a milestone for any parent-to-be. Yet for Karen, who has bilateral coloboma or cat-eye syndrome, it feels even more special: because it’s an experience she thought she’d never have.  

For the first time, Karen can picture a clear image of her child’s face, by reading Bill’s image description, printed in braille, and feeling a tactile version of the scan, printed in relief.

Karen Trippass baby scan image

Immerse yourself in the image and listen to Bill’s audio description

I found missing out on scans quite hard… this is just amazing. I love it.”

Karen Trippass laughing in conversation

Karen Trippass

Karen has a visual impairment called bilateral coloboma. Her 29-week ultrasound scan, conducted by Bill, shows her second child. She lives in Surrey, UK, with her 10-year-old daughter, and her husband, Mark. At the time of recording, they were excited and preparing to welcome their baby into the world.

Bill Smith

Bill Smith is head of ultrasound at Clinical Diagnostics Services (CDS) and is recognised internationally as a specialist ultrasound practitioner with skills in areas of gynaecology, reproductive medicine and pregnancy. Bill and CDS use the Canon Medical Aplio i700 system.

Bill Smith seated

To make the experience possible, we printed Karen’s baby scan using Canon PRISMAelevate XL software and Arizona printer series.

Close up of hands feeling the relief print

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