Rock Star Mom: Lacey Ray splits her time between a toddler and a special needs infant

Lacey Ray will split her time on Mother’s Day between her toddler in Moore County and her special needs son Carter at Vanderbilt. {Photos Provided}

It’s months after the birth of her second child, Carter, and he and brother, Jackson, still haven’t met. That’s the present Moore County mom, Lacey Hobbs Ray, would like most … for her sons to be in the same room for the first time.

Her story is the stuff of a TV drama. She nearly gave birth to Carter on the side on Interstate 24. Thanks to quick thinking by her husband, Chris, and a lightening fast reaction from Murfreesboro EMS, Carter arrived safely in an ambulance on the way to Tristar Stonecrest Hospital. He was seven weeks early.

Thanks to genetic testing, they knew Carter had Downs Syndrome at around 14 weeks. What the couple didn’t anticipate was the trickle down of medical issues that came with Carter’s spunky, early arrival.

Only four pounds at birth, Carter suffers with Esophageal Artesia Type B, which is basically a fancy way of saying he has a long gap between his esophagus and stomach. It’s extremely rare but something that can be fixed. Carter successfully gotten through one surgery and Are now waiting on him to have the second so he can finally come home.

In the meantime, Lacey and Chris make it work, even though only one of them can visit Carter at a time. In fact, Lacey says she only gets to hold him about once a week.

She and her husband live in the Raysville area of Moore County. Both work at Jack Daniel. She’s a shipping logistics specialist and he works in warehousing. Chris’s dad, Jerry Ray, is one of the most prolific farmers in Moore County. Like his dad, Chris also farms. He raises cattle and produces row crops when he’s not at the distillery. Combine all that with the fact that the couple have a rambunctious two year old, Jackson, well, their life is currently a whirlwind.

It’s a fact Lacey seems to take in stride.

“My mother showed me that I can work and be a mother, and still be there for my family and kids, so I don’t think it has affected my goals and plans,” she says.

Lacey works full time and splits time between her tractor-loving toddler in Lynchburg and her bursting with personality newborn in the PICU at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Despite his health challenges, Carter isn’t shy about letting the nurses know what he wants. He doesn’t like the vent tube that helps him breathe and he isn’t shy about fussing about it.

“He’s very opinionated,” says Lacey. “We just need to get a insides as strong as his outsides.”

And Jackson, well he just seems to roll with the punches. On any give day mom Lacey, dad Chris, or grandparents Jerry and Barbara Ray or Pat and Bob Hobbs might pick him up. Lacey says he’s pretty easygoing except when it comes to bedtime.

“He want mommy to do the nighttime routine and that’s okay,” she says.

So how will Lacey spend her Mother’s Day. True to form, she’ll spend half her day at the hospital with Carter and the other half in Moore County with Chris and Jackson … and that’s okay too. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Lynchburg couple reunites with responders who helped them deliver in the back of an ambulance

Pictured (from left to right) are Chris Reed, Meg Shirley, Brandon Smith, Lacey Ray, Chris Ray, and Suzie Cartwright. {Photo Provided}

LOCAL NEWS — Chris and Lacey Ray of Lynchburg were en route to Centennial Medical Center on the interstate to deliver, when their baby boy decided to have a mind of his own. Lacey’s contractions began to quicken, and her husband, Chris, smartly pulled over and called 9-1-1 to explain the situation. Within seconds, medics from Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services (RCEMS) were dispatched to the scene.

As they arrived, Lacey told them she was already beginning to feel the baby’s head. With Lacey’s being a high-risk pregnancy, medics suggested a closer hospital as a safer option and the couple agreed.  Paramedic Brandon Smith jumped into the back of the ambulance with them and they were on their way.

As the team pulled into Stone Crest Medical Center, Lacey delivered her baby boy … in the back of the ambulance! Emergency room doctors were standing by to care for mother and child. Both were later transferred to Centennial Pediatric for further care. Everyone is now doing fine.

According to Rutherford County officials, the couple, who work for Jack Daniels Distillery, wanted to be reunited with the first responders and dispatcher that assisted them with the healthy delivery of their bundle of joy, so the distillery and Moore County Emergency Medical Services (MCEMS) coordinated with RCEMS to host the event.

“RCEMS was given a warm welcome and the family was excited to meet the team,” said Paramedic Brent Carter. “Only this time in a more calm and relaxed atmosphere. This is no different than any other day on the job but it’s nice to visually see the difference you have made in the lives of others through these types of events.”

The group enjoyed lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s and the team comprised of paramedics Chris Reed and Brandon Smith, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Meg Shirley, and Dispatcher Suzie Cunningham also received gift baskets as a token of gratitude. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}