The parents of a four-month-old baby girl who are desperately trying to fund the cost of a special surgical helmet for their daughter are overwhelmed with the response so far.
In just two days, Hunts Post readers, and friends and family of the St Ives couple, have raised more than half of the £1,950 needed to buy baby Rubee the helmet, which is not available on the NHS.
Rubee, who has a condition called plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome” could suffer permanent damage and disfigurement without the helmet, which she will have to wear for 23 hours a day for six months.
Mum, Tina Scrivener, aged 26, contacted The Hunts Post earlier this week to raise awareness of Rubee’s condition and to launch her fund-raising campaign called Help Rubee.
On Friday she said: “I am just completely overwhelmed with the response. It is really reassuring and we feel much more positive that we will be able to get the helmet for Rubee.”
Rubee was born on April 12, and although she seemed to be developing normally, Tina, who has six other children, noticed that her head seemed to be misshapen.
She consulted her GP at the Northcote House Surgery, in St Ives, and was referred to Hinchingbrooke Hospital for further tests.
A few weeks ago, paediatric consultant Dr Nik Johnson broke the news that Rubee has plagiocephaly and referred her to the Joint Craniofacial Clinic at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
Last Friday, the diagnosis was confirmed as severe plagiocephaly and while some babies do recover from the condition without intervention, Rubee is becoming disfigured and this could affect her hearing and future development.
Tina says the family would struggle to find the money themselves.
“We are currently trying to raise the money which is the minimum required, unfortunately we cannot pay for this ourselves. Rubee needs the helmet urgently, in days, at the most weeks, for her to benefit,” explained Tina.
“We worry about Rubee’s future, not just how she looks but her happiness as well. Other children can be very cruel. Our friends and family have been truly wonderful in the last few days and are rallying around.”
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Group, which makes funding decisions, said: “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.”
If you want to make a donation, go to the Facebook page Help Rubee.
Tina has also organised a fund-raising event at the 7 Wives in St Ives on August 31 from 3pm till 7pm. There will be a bouncy castle, raffle, children’s fancy dress, tombola and live music in the evening.