Mother's appeal to help little Lilith get treatment for misshapen head
PUBLISHED: 15:55 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 19 November 2018
A mother is appealing for help to meet the cost of a specialist helmet for her 18-month-old daughter, which she hopes will help her head grow normally.
Jo Spratt, a children’s nurse at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, first noticed her daughter Lilith Blake had a flat spot on her head at around four months old and the tot was diagnosed with brachycephaly, also known as flat head syndrome.
It is usually caused by babies spending time lying on their back, and Miss Spratt said she was advised Lilith should sleep on her back to avoid sudden infant death syndrome.
But when Miss Spratt took Lilith to see her health visitor she was told her head would correct itself and to keep her off her back as much as possible.
“I didn’t really at that time want to put her in a helmet,” Miss Spratt, from Norwich, said. “So I decided to trust their advice.”
Miss Spratt said while the flat spot did improve, by the time Lilith was 16 months she did not feel there had been enough progress, but by that point was told it would not improve further on its own.
But because the condition is considered cosmetic by the NHS in most cases, she was not able to get a helmet to help further on the NHS and has instead been forced to pay £2,050 for private treatment.
“I was really upset,” Miss Spratt, 32, said. “I already felt really guilty for putting her on her back but that’s what they say to do.”
Single mother Miss Spratt managed to raise money for the first instalments through family and friends, car boot sales, a charity grant, and the use of a credit card.
But now she is stuck with paying off the final amounts.
“With myself working for the NHS I know they have to direct funds to what is needed, but it leaves people like myself, I just want what is best for my child,” she said. “She’s had it on for six weeks and I can see a tremendous difference, it’s all rounding off.”
Miss Spratt, who worried the condition might leave Lilith open to bullying when she was older, is also taking on a sponsored walk, adding one mile for every percentage point Lilith’s head shape improves by.