A Perthshire family are fundraising so their baby can have special helmet therapy to correct two flat head syndromes.
Six-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.
Parents Stephanie Ewart and Andrew Housley are desperately trying to raise money to pay for his treatment, which is not supported by the NHS.
Stephanie, of Easter Dounie Farm, Bridge of Cally, said: “Unbeknown to us Ardle was born with a neck condition called torticollis. His neck muscles were so tight it prevented him from turning his head to one side which led to him developing a severe skull flattening.
“There are two types of flat head syndrome and Ardle has been diagnosed with both severe brachycephaly and mild plagiocephaly.”
The family noticed there was something wrong with his neck when Ardle was just four weeks old.
However, he was not officially diagnosed with flat head syndrome until he was seen at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow when he was just under four months old.
Stephanie continued: “It has resulted in the back of his skull being pushed forward on one side so that he has an egg shaped bump above his right eyebrow and his facial features are misaligned.
“Ardle’s TiMband helmet should gently allow the head to grow back into a normal shape, ensuring a safe, gentle and permanent correction.”
The treatment will last around four months and will stop when either he has outgrown the helmet or when no further improvement is made.
The couple are trying to raise awareness of the two syndromes so that other parents are aware of what treatments are available to them.
Stephanie said: “Plagiocephaly and brachycephaly are being diagnosed in an increasing number of babies, which is thought to be due to the recommendation that babies sleep on their back.
“There are parents out there in a similar situation to us and they need to know all the options that are available to them.
“Helmeting treatment is most effective between the ages of four and 12 months, as that is when the skull is experiencing its most rapid growth and is at its most malleable.
“Ardle’s helmet treatment is starting to pay dividends. A deposit enabled us to get the helmet on him but we still have a large balance to pay off.
“We can visually see some improvement now and he isn’t phased at having to wear it at all.”
Stephanie stated the treatment is not widely available on the NHS because GPs and health visitors generally believe the condition is solely cosmetic and can be solved by the head rounding out with growth and the thickening of the hair.
But the technology-in-motion orthotist treating Ardle, Sandie Waddell, said: “In my opinion Ardle’s misshaped head would not rectify itself without helmet treatment.”
To donate visit the family’s page at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/stephanie-ewart-1.