Padiham baby has life-changing helmet fitted

Fiona Clarke with her five month old son Fred, who has to wear a special helmet to prevent his head from being deformed when he is older. A021111/1a
Fiona Clarke with her five month old son Fred, who has to wear a special helmet to prevent his head from being deformed when he is older. A021111/1a

A BABY boy from Padiham who suffers from a severe skull condition has started potentially life-changing treatment.

Five-month-old Fred Worth, who has plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, travelled to hospital in Leeds on Tuesday where he was fitted with a specialist helmet to realign his face.

Fiona Clarke with her five month old son Fred, who has to wear a special helmet to prevent his head from being deformed when he is older. A021111/1b

Fiona Clarke with her five month old son Fred, who has to wear a special helmet to prevent his head from being deformed when he is older. A021111/1b

The Express told how Fred’s condition was causing his ear, cheekbone and forehead to be pushed forward as well as a flat area on the back right side of his head and his mum feared without treatment he would be left deformed and with vision, speech and hearing problems.

With treatment unavailable on the NHS and costing £2,000, his mum Miss Fiona Clarke (31) appealed for help to raise the cash and she said she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of family, friends and complete strangers.

So far the family have raised more than £500 and the hospital allowed Fred to start treatment early but they still need to find another £1,500.

Fred has been wearing the helmet on and off all week to allow him to get used to it and from this weekend will have to wear it 23 hours a day for eight months.

“He didn’t make a fuss when they fitted it,” said Fiona.

“He was quite happy. People have been very supportive and disgusted Fred’s treatment isn’t available on the NHS. They have been thinking of fund-raising ideas for us. This treatment will make a big difference to Fred’s life. I’ve been in touch with other families affected by the condition on the internet and one little girl had to have her jaw broken and reset.

“Wearing the helmet will prevent that for Fred.”

Unforgiven Bikers’ Club at the Deerplay pub, raised £153 for Fred’s fund and children and staff at Whitegate Children’s Centre where Fred attends playgroup have pledged to help with the fund-raising effort.

Fiona will have a charity stall at the Padiham Christmas lights switch-on on Friday, November 25th, and a curry night will be held at Molly Rigby’s in Padiham on Saturday, November 19th, starting at 7-30 p.m. Tickets are £10.

You can follow Fred’s progress at www.justgiving.com/babyfred or make a donation by texting OKEX91, a space, then the amount to 70070.