Big-hearted Courier readers have helped raise £2,000 to transform the life of a Perthshire infant affected by two head conditions.
Nine-month-old Ardle Housley wears a special lightweight helmet 23 hours a day, with a half-hour break morning and evening, after being diagnosed with brachycephaly and plagiocephaly.
Earlier this year parents Stephanie Ewart and Andrew Housley sought Courier readers’ help as they tried to raise money to pay for his treatment, which is not supported by the NHS.
And the delighted couple are now looking forward to the new year after the fundraising proved a complete success.
Stephanie, of Easter Dounie Farm, Bridge of Cally, said: “The donations have come from far and wide, from family, friends, locals and complete strangers. The support from the local community, in particular, has been phenomenal. They have truly taken Ardle to their hearts.”
Ardle was diagnosed with flat head syndrome when he was just under four months old. The condition resulted in the back of his skull being pushed forward on one side, causing an egg shaped bump above his right eyebrow and leaving facial features misaligned.
His TiMband helmet was designed to gently allow his head to grow back into a normal shape, ensuring a safe, gentle and permanent correction.
Stephanie said: “The prognosis for Ardle is excellent. The helmet treatment has been a great success and we see improvement in his head shape every day.
“When we attend the clinic for our final discharge appointment an after helmet scan will be carried out and we will be able to compare that alongside the before helmet scan. It should make for interesting viewing.”
Stephanie admits the couple have been overwhelmed by the way people have supported Ardle’s cause.
Blairgowrie couple John and Helen Webster celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary by asking, in lieu of gifts, for donations to be collected for Ardle’s helmet.
The Mealluaine Dance Band donated profits from sales of their Bonnie Strathardle CD, while Bridge of Cally Post Office and Kirkmichael Village Shop raised funds through the sale of goods.
Stephanie said: “We know many of our donators don’t have much spare cash and yet have dug deep to give to Ardle. We’ve been so touched by everyone’s generosity.
“The thoughtfulness and generosity of people had me in tears at times.
“The timing could not be better for reaching the target as, to have a clean slate going into the new year and a happy, healthy, baby, is more than we ever dared hope for.
“Ardle will benefit his whole life from this and without the support of so many family, friends, locals and complete strangers it simply would not have been possible.”
The couple also wanted to thank Jimmy MacMillan (Manor Court, Blairgowrie), Iris Thompson, Irene Wallace, Mary Lawrie and Sir Michael and Lady Sally Nairn for their support.