Meet Baby Ray

Name: Baby Ray
Diagnosis: Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, austism, chronic lung disease, sensory processing disorder
Age: 8
Things I love: Anything Disney, singing and dancing
If I could have any superpower, it would be:  To run really fast, be strong and have courage
I am proud to be a Children's Champion because:  It means a lot to my family. I have great doctors who take such good care of me. I can also show others that miracles are truly possible.


When Baby Ray's mom Robin went into labor a little over halfway through her pregnancy, doctors told her it would be a miracle if her baby survived. When her own health then took a turn for the worse during delivery, she was placed in a coma and did not meet her son until he was 3 days old. He was so small he could fit in the palm of her hand and it was clear the situation was extremely serious.

Every premature baby's NICU journey is unique, but many follow a similar path of both highs and lows. Baby Ray's story is no different. He endured his first surgical procedure at only 9 days old. He continued to require intense medical care in the days and months that followed including heart surgery, eye surgery, lung procedures and intervention to correct gastrointestinal issues due to his premature birth. Baby Ray was on oxygen for over three years and he battled issues such as floppy airway and lacked a coughing mechanism that enabled him to eat properly. It was during this time that he suffered two brain bleeds, which continue to affect both his speech and motor skills today.

Baby Ray has proven since a young age he has a strong fighting spirit and it's still a big part of his personality. With current diagnoses that include cerebral palsy and autism, in addition to chronic lung disease, sensory processing disorder and ADHD, he continues to beat the odds that are against him. Robin says she was told Baby Ray would never be able to walk or talk, and now he is an energetic boy doing both of those things. Without the ability to speak by the age of 3, his care team arranged for him to receive a communication device. Prior to receiving it, he began making sounds indicating his speech would be possible. His first words followed a short time later when he told his older sister that he loved her.

Now 8 years old, Baby Ray is a passionate enthusiast of Disney movies, singing and dancing and spending time at church. According to his mom, Robin, he continues to meet milestones according to his own timeline. He attends the Cerebral Palsy Center at St. Louis Children's on a regular basis and receives many types of weekly therapies, both at school and the clinic. Robin says she is grateful for not only Baby Ray's medical care, but also the support provided to her family during those first weeks and months. Robin lost her job shortly after Baby Ray's birth and the resources provided to her included support updating her resume and searching for jobs. Robin says she doesn't know where they would be today without the care and compassion of the team at St. Louis Children's.

Because of You:

Baby Ray’s family believes miracles are occurring daily within the walls of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Navigating a preemie’s healthcare journey is already challenging and traumatic, let alone when it is coupled with the loss of income and stability. St. Louis Children’s Center for Families and Child Life Services provided support to Baby Ray and his family in more ways than just medical care. Because of these donor-funded programs, single mom Robin was able to not only have a few minutes to herself but provided with resources for her job search while caring for her baby in the hospital.

Watch Baby Ray's Story: