GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — WREG’s Alex Coleman catches back up with Carter Smith — a young man whose family is thankful for Le Bonheur after seeing medical miracles come true.
About ten years ago, Carter’s parents, Webb And Courtney, experienced the joy and excitement of learning they were expecting their first-born child.
“We had tried for about a year to have him, and we thought we did all the right things,” Courtney said. “It was a shock. Very emotional, very scared. I mean all over the place.”
They wanted to have what they called a fun ultrasound, but that ultrasound would reveal something far more serious than expected—spina bifida. It’s where the bones of the spine and spinal cord don’t form normally.
“On that screen, unfortunately for us, it revealed a few abnormalities in the brain that were a sign of spina bifida and sign of medical concern to come,” Webb said.
Carter’s parents read everything they could get their hands on, researching spina bifida. They were willing to travel anywhere for their son’s care. But some medical friends told them one of the best hospitals in the world is only 30 minutes down the road, at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
“We were looking for the best care and that led us to Le Bonheur,” Webb said.
The Smith’s would need the best for their son. He would undergo multiple surgeries involving the brain, spine, and bladder.
“For the first five years, it was very often we were in the ER, whether it was for something surgical that was needed or an infection,” Courtney said.
But throughout the years and after countless doctor and therapy appointments, Carter is thriving.
“Playing baseball and doing well in school. Every time we try to put an expectation on him, he steam rolls past it,” Webb said.
To put it simply, the Smith’s say Carter is a blessing.
“Oh my gosh, the biggest blessing there is,” Courtney said. “I often say I wish I could go back and tell myself when he was first diagnosed how amazing he would be, because it was hard to see that at first. But if I knew then what I know now, the fear would not be there.”