THREE months after giving birth prematurely to her third child, a boy she named Blake, Jade Pheasey of Bidford discovered there was something wrong with the shape of the baby’s head.
She later learnt that Blake was suffering from a little-known skull condition that affects young babies called plagiocephaly.
In Blake’s case there is a slanting up to the left-hand side at the back of his head.
Jade sought professional medical advice, but swiftly learnt there was no treatment for Blake’s condition on the NHS. It is regarded as a “cosmetic” affliction that does not justify funding from the public purse.
“I sought help from four different professionals—three GPs and a health visitor,” Jade told the Herald.
“All of them said they weren’t concerned and weren’t going to refer me to anybody.
“It’s considered to be cosmetic and not medical and doesn’t affect a baby’s brain or development at all. When he was about five months old it was worse, to the extent that people were making comments about him in the street.
“So I went to a different GP at the same practice, who finally admitted Blake was a severe case and referred me straight away to the paediatric department at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch. The paediatrician diagnosed him with the condition—a severe case of it.”
Jade was told that nothing was provided by the NHS, but she was informed that there was a helmet available in the commercial sector that could be fitted to restore a baby’s head to its natural shape.
However, the helmet can cost anything up to £2,500 and cannot be provided once a child reaches the age of 12 months.
Blake is now six-and-a-half months old, which means that Jade is now in a race against time to raise the cash to acquire the special helmet for her son.
Since Jade is on a low income she has no way of raising the cash herself before the deadline for the treatment, so she’s registered on line with the JustGiving website in the hope of obtaining the cash through donations from the public.
She’s already raised £346, but the money will not go directly to Jade.
Once she’s reached the necessary figure the cash will go to the treatment provider.
If there is a surplus this will go straight to a charity called “Head Start for Babies”, which specialises in providing help for families with babies suffering from plagiocephaly.
Jade has already organised an on-line auction to raise money, and on 11th January the Crown in Bidford, formerly the British Legion Club, is holding a raffle and karaoke night to bring in cash for the cause.
It puzzles Jade that treatment for Blake’s condition is not available on the NHS because it is classed as cosmetic.
“They fund breast enlargements,” she said. “And they even come to the rescue when women have paid with their own money for breast enlargements that have gone wrong.”
Anyone wishing to donate money to help Blake can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/Jade-Pheasey880
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