The parents of a toddler who were refused NHS funding for a corrective surgical helmet to straighten their daughter’s head are celebrating this week after doctors confirmed the treatment has been successful.
Tina Scrivener and her partner, Andrew Phelps, launched a fund-raising campaign in The Hunts Post last summer after discovering their four-month-old daughter, Rubee, had a condition called plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome”. The couple, from Houghton Road in St Ives, were concerned that Rubee could suffer permanent damage and disfigurement without the helmet but were told it was not available on the NHS.
Rubee, who will be a year old on April 12, had the helmet fitted on September 5 last year after Hunts Post readers, and family and friends raised £1,950 to pay for the helmet. Rubee wore the corrective device for 23 hours each day for almost seven months.
“We are delighted to say that after nearly 217 Days Rubee has graduated from her helmet,” said Tina.
“Rubee took to it amazingly, she was`t phased one bit and never lost her cheeky smile. We couldn’t be happier with the end results. Every four weeks we travelled to London to get Rubee’s head measured and her helmet adjusted where needed, this kept us feeling very positive seeing the amazing changes at each appointment. At Rubee’s last appointment she had another digital scan, like she did at her first appointment, and the difference can clearly be seen.
Looking at Rubee now you would never know she even had a slight flat spot let alone the serve plagiocephaly she had, we cannot rate the helmet treatment enough, it is by far the best decision we have made for Rubee. She is such a happy little girl, her smile melts everyone’s heart.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this possible for Rubee, for the amazing people who donated, helped with events and for those who have supported Rubee through out her treatment. We have gone on to donate to other families and plan to continue donating and raising awareness of plagiocephaly as best as we can.”
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Group, which makes funding decisions for NHS treatment, told The Hunts Post at the time: “This is a relatively common condition and not usually a cause for concern. There is not enough evidence to show helmets are more effective than the advice on positioning.”