By Airman 1st Class Kristin Savage, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 07, 2018
When the Rays' newborn baby needed life-saving surgery, the Air Force sent an aeromedical evacuation team to sustain and transport him across the ocean within a few hours. The Ray family is now finding ways to pay it forward and support other families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Larkin)
When newborn Liam Ray, son of Tech. Sgt. Scott Ray and Senior Airman Taylor Ray needed life-saving surgery, the Air Force showed its ability to deploy at a moment’s notice. An aeromedical evacuation team transported baby Liam from Guam to Seattle within a few hours, showcasing America's rapid global mobility expertise. The doctors at the Seattle Children's hospital successfully corrected his heart defect, which was diagnosed as "Transposition of the Greater Arteries" (the arteries were connected on the wrong sides of the heart).
Almost a year later, his parents wanted to pay it forward and thank the local community here for their support. They teamed up with the 375th Medical Group at Scott Air Force Base to launch a campaign that supported the American Heart Association's "Little Hats, Big Hearts" campaign. They collected knitted red hats for babies born in February and distributed them to local hospitals. The purpose was to raise awareness for newborns with heart defects. With the help of the Scott Air Force Base community, the Rays exceeded their initial goal and collected 463 hats!