HOPE for Sheyenne

Local family faces challenging circumstances after baby’s birth

Challenging circumstances arise each and every day, and some are much more burdensome than others. Lauren and Luke Courreges found out at the 20-week mark of pregnancy that their little girl, Shyenne Selah, possibly had bilateral clubfeet.

This was confirmed at 23 weeks by the maternal fetal medicine specialist. They also learned that she has an extra digit webbed to each of her big toes and her big toes were growing out instead of up and straight. This is called sandal gap; hers is very severe.

“Before that happened, we had a miscarriage last May,” Lauren said. “To find out we were pregnant was scary and exciting. To find out that she was gonna have some issues was definitely emotional. Just going back and forth between specialists, they go into all the possibilities of why she has these problems. There’s a possibility of her having a genetic disorder or some sort of syndrome. That’s been scary not knowing exactly. We won’t know until she’s born.”

They are seeking treatment for her in St. Louis, Missouri from Dr. Matthew Dobbs, one of the best pediatric orthopedic doctors in the country. He specializes in all lower extremity birth defects. The doctors have also been keeping a close eye on her heart.

“They are very concerned that she will be born with some sort of genetic disorder,” Lauren said. “At this point we will not know to what extent until she is born.”

Lauren went into early labor at 29 weeks, but by the Grace of God has made it to full term. Shyenne will be here any day.

Traveling back and forth to Louis will be very expensive along with medical bills. Once born, Shyenne will be in full leg casts for five to eight weeks, have a surgery and braces until she is four or five-years-old. That is just for the clubfeet. With her other toe issues that will also require surgeries.

“We have a long road ahead of us with multiple surgeries, lots of traveling by plane, and years of doctors visits,” Lauren said.

Through everything, Lauren and Luke have had the support of their church and the community.

“Our church at First Baptist has been amazing, just the outpouring of love that we’ve received,” Lauren said. “Meals have been brought by the house. People in the community have helped us come up with ideas to make sure she [Shyenne] gets what she needs when she’s here. It’s been really a blessing, because we’re not from here. We’ve only been here four years.” Prayer, faith and trusting in God have been the biggest things that they have leaned on through this.

“It all goes back to our faith and trusting God,” Lauren said. “Things aren’t in our control. She’s our daughter, and we’re gonna love her no matter what. Is it what we would pick for her? No. It’s definitely, I think, gonna bring our family closer together through her and make us all stronger, and it’s gonna teach our boys [Sean and Seth] just because somebody’s made different doesn’t mean that we’re gonna love them any less.”

There are barbecue plate tickets for sale in hopes to raise money to help with medical and travel expenses. The tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at First Baptist Church, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts, Summit Oilfield Supply, Hunt Elementary, Cuero National Bank and Security Storage. Plates will be ready to pick up June 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Anna Koch pavilion at the city park.

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