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Andrew and Courtney Ray found out that they were expecting their first child in November 2020. They shared the news with family at Christmas and then with the rest of their family, friends, and students throughout January, discovering that they were having a baby boy at a Mardi Gras themed gender reveal on January 24. It was at the anatomy scan appointment in February that Andrew and Courtney first learned there were some concerns with their baby boy. The ventricles in his brain were dilated larger than normal, and so they were referred to Dr. Briery for a follow up. 

On February 23, Andrew and Courtney learned that their baby boy has spina bifida, or myelomeningocele. This means that a section of his spine did not form properly, creating a lesion in his lower back where his spinal cord and nerves are exposed. This can lead to any number of complications concerning fluid on the brain, mobility, and bladder/bowel function, among others.

After visiting with doctors here in Shreveport and consulting with a team of doctors in Houston, Courtney and Andrew decided to move forward with fetoscopic, in utero repair of the spinal lesion. They won’t know the extent of their baby’s needs until after he’s born, but this surgery will hopefully reduce the risk of complications. The surgery will take place Tuesday, March 30, at Children’s Memorial Hermann in Houston. Courtney will stay in Houston for a few weeks post-surgery and then return to Shreveport where she will be on bed rest until her return to Houston to deliver.

Andrew and Courtney decided that if their baby boy was going to undergo surgery before he was even born, he should definitely have a name. So they’d appreciate all the prayers, good vibes, and support you can send for their baby boy, Dylan Parker Ray!


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