Joel Ray

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Some neurosurgeons spend their free time on the golf course. During the past few years, Cape Girardeau neurosurgeon Joel Ray has spent some of his free time hanging from a crane over the Mississippi River and in San Diego operating on a Chihuahua with an spinal defect.

Ray took 8,000 photos from every perspective he could think of during construction of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge and demolition of the old bridge. The Southeast Missourian published a number of them. Now two of Ray's photographs can be found in the latest edition of Missouri's Official Manual.

Judges of the manual's photography contest awarded one of his bridge photos a first prize in the People and Architecture category and a second in the Buildings of Commerce and Industry category.

Ray took another 8,000 photographs during the weekend he operated for free on Roxie, a dog almost no one wanted. When friends in a veterinary office called, Ray responded by fusing two of Roxie's vertebrae using a device developed for humans. Roxie has begun taking her first steps without pain.

We look forward to seeing what Ray will do next. In his free time.

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