Matilda's mission to No 10
Aug 29 2008 by Joanne Douglas, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A MOTHER is visiting 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition with almost 6,000 signatures in a bid to help children with a rare head condition.
Kate Fisher’s daughter Matilda is one of a handful of children with the brachycephaly condition, commonly known as flat head syndrome.
Kate and partner Alex Gleghorn were able to help little Matilda only because they paid for private treatment before she got too old to treat.
They started a campaign to highlight the issue among parents and have since been able to help three other children whose parents thought it was too late to get treatment.
But Miss Fisher wants the Government and doctors to act quicker.
So far Kate has collected 4,697 signatures on a paper petition and 1,213 on a Downing Street e-petition.
Kate and 18-month-old Matilda will go to Downing Street on Monday.
Kate, 22, from Mirfield, said: “I’m not under any illusions that they are going to start funding treatment.
“But I hope they’ll start listening to us and give parents more choice so they can help their children before it’s too late.
“I’m excited about going to Downing Street but also a bit nervous too.
“I just hope it will make a difference to other children.”
Little Matilda and twin Harry, now 18 months old, were both born prematurely, but only Matilda has the rare condition which caused the back of her head to be flat.
They paid £2,000 for a specialised Starband helmet which Matilda wears for 23 hours and helps to reshape her head.
But the treatment can only be done if it is started when children’s bones are still soft, before 18 months old.
Miss Fisher added: “We thought it was too late for Matilda, but we found a private clinic which would mould a special helmet for her and it has made a difference already.
“If she’d have had it much sooner she would have an almost perfect head shape.
“That’s why we want other parents to know about this Starband, because it needs to be done as soon as possible before their heads form.”
Brachycephaly is a form of plagiocephaly, which causes people’s heads to be wider than longer.
The issue is not merely cosmetic. it can lead to complications with eyesight. Because of the shape of the head, wearing glasses would be impossible.
Miss Fisher and Mr Gleghorn, 24, a mechanical engineer, hope their efforts will help others deal with the condition in time.