The parents of a little girl with a severe case of ‘Flat Head Syndrome’ have raised over £2,000 to pay for private treatment.
Ash and Narelle Gibbs launched a JustGiving appeal earlier this week to raise money for a plagiocephaly ‘corrective helmet’ - which is not available on the NHS - for four-month-old Emily.
The Denby Dale couple were surprised and delighted that the appeal reached its target within a few hours of their story being published online by the Examiner.
Emily will now have the helmet fitted in a week’s time.
The helmet will be fitted at a private clinic in Leeds which had carried out a scan of Emily’s skull and told her parents that the optimum time for treatment is when children are four months old.
Ash, 25, said the condition – usually caused when a baby spends a lot of time laid on their back – had left Emily with a bulging forehead and had also forced her right ear forwards.
He said: “Without treatment, Emily would never be able to do the things that most of us take for granted.
“She wouldn’t be able to ride a bike as a helmet wouldn’t fit. She would be unable to wear glasses as her ears are misaligned and it would pose limitations on her career as it would prevent certain professions which require helmets.”
Ash, who works as a recruitment consultant in Leeds, added: “Having a misshaped head could be distressing for Emily when she is older and we want to do all we can to ensure this doesn’t happen.”
Mum Narelle, 23, said the helmet worked by restricting growth where the bulging is prominent. It also allows space elsewhere for the skull to grow.
She thanked everyone who had donated to their JustGiving appeal –and thanked the Examiner for telling their story.
Ash added: “I would like to thank everyone who donated, whether they gave £5 or £1,000. We appreciate the help and are so overwhelmed with the level of support we have received.”
He gave special thanks to Mandy Ross at Denby Dale play centre Jelly Beans and Laura Molloy at SwimBabes (baby swimming lessons at Holmfirth) both of whom made generous donations.
The family’s JustGiving page will remain open with any extra money going to charity Headstart4Babies which raises awareness of the condition affecting Emily.
Ash said he hoped that Emily’s story highlighted the problem of Flat Head Syndrome to other parents as he and his wife were not aware of the condition despite having two other children, Chloe, four, and 23-month-old Declan.
“We want to raise awareness of this condition,” said Ash. “We have three children but we didn’t know about it. It wasn’t mentioned when the children were born.”