A toddler born with a rare condition has had successful corrective treatment – thanks to fundraisers.
Sarah Jackson was born with Plagiocephaly, known as Flat Head Syndrome, and needed to wear a specially-made helmet to correct the condition for 23 hours every day.
But last week her parents, Mark and Donna Jackson, along with surgeons decided the procedure had been a success and Sarah, now 19 months old, could take the helmet off.
A dip in the North Sea on Boxing Day by dad Mark and fundraisers with football matches and a quiz night quickly saw the community get involved. Sarah was fitted with the helmet in January, within just weeks of Mark and Donna starting to fundraise for the £2000 needed to buy it as it isn’t available on the NHS.
The shape of her head has now corrected and she can show off her flowing golden blonde hair – even if it means she does keep banging her head.
Mum Donna, of Stakesby Vale said: “We have had a few issues with head banging since she took it off. If she walked into the table before it wouldn’t hurt. But she is that age now where she is walking and bumping into things but we are so pleased with how it has gone.
“With her being older we didn’t know whether it would work but it has.”
She was supposed to be wearing it for another two months but was suffering with excessive dry skin on her head and face as a result of wearing it so her parents decided enough was enough - especially has she had made more progress than they expected her to.
Donna said: “We tried everything to stop the dry skin but it didn’t work so we decided to call it a day but she had changed more then we expected her to anyway.
“Most babies are finishing their treatment by the time she started hers. A lot of people said it will correct itself but I knew it wasn’t.”
Sarah’s older brother Ryan had had the same condition, which affects 13 per cent of babies and is more common in boys. But, it corrected itself and when Sarah at the same age had not made the same progress, Donna sought the advice of a specialist.
However, they were told the helmet, which puts pressure on the side of the head and has a gap at the back allowing the shape of the skull to change, would cost them in excess of £2000.
Donna says it is now nice to be able to walk down the street and not get stared at.
She added: “It is nice people are commenting on her hair rather than staring - that was the worst. We had it for a couple of months in Whitby but after that it was alright because people knew what she was wearing it for but if we went away it started again.
“We went camping a few months ago and a little lad of about nine or ten said ‘can I ask why she is wearing that helmet’ and it was fine. Why couldn’t adults just do that? She was starting to notice people looking at her, Ryan started to notice as well and it really upset me and Mark as well.”