Mum hoping to raise thousands to cover helmet cost

Eight-month-old Albert Crook needs a custom-fitted helmet to tackle his flat head syndrome
Eight-month-old Albert Crook needs a custom-fitted helmet to tackle his flat head syndrome
Martin Webb, right, and Ray Waller, left, of Comet Classics in Southbourne with the Team Ant racing car they bought at auction and Southbourne car enthusiast Darren Collins, who helped build it. Picture Ian Hargreaves (171671-1)

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A MUM is holding a fundraiser to cover the cost of her baby’s special helmet, which is not available on the NHS.

Eight-month-old Albert Crook has plagiocephaly – commonly known as flat head syndrome – meaning one side of his head is misshapen, usually due to continuous pressure to one spot.

Treatment is not funded on the NHS and, privately, costs thousands.

Concerned Dee Treadwell, 45, has already paid £1,950 for a custom-fitted helmet to correct the shape of Albert’s head. He has to wear it 23 hours a day for five months, alongside having physiotherapy.

Now, Dee is holding a fundraiser event on Saturday, September 24 to help recoup the costs and raise money for a specialist head charity.

The event is at St Francis Church, Havant, from 11.30am to 2.30pm, where there will be a bouncy castle, ice cream, games, stalls, tombola and refreshments.

Dee, of Leigh Park, said: ‘It was a lot of money for us to fork out but we found a way, as you do anything for your children.

‘We’re just hoping the fun day helps us out and raises awareness that this sort of helmet is available privately.’

Born three weeks premature, Albert became very ill and spent time in hospital. Dee believes this may have stunted the growth to his head.

Dee said: ‘He got meningitis at three weeks old so he spent a lot of time in the hospital lying down on one spot.

‘That may have flattened it a lot more, especially where babies’ heads are so soft.

‘Once we noticed something was wrong, we took him to a consultant who said that it is common in babies and it usually rectifies itself.’

Dee and her partner Stephen decided to seek private in Guildford for a second opinion.

Dee said: ‘We could see that Albert’s case was severe and wouldn’t just improve on its own. One side of his head bulged out a lot more than the other and his eyes and ears poked out.

‘When we went to the private centre they said his head was misshapen by around 24mm on one side and that he would need the helmet to treat it.’

Albert has been wearing the helmet for seven weeks and already his diagnosis has improved from severe to moderate, with the hopes of becoming mild.

Dee is delighted with the results. She said: ‘He will probably never be in the normal range but you can already see such a big difference in his appearance.

‘The helmet is amazing and I urge any parents whose babies have plagiocephaly that there are ways of getting this treated.

‘It is expensive but worth is as the helmet works wonders – Albert is proof of that.’