A hard-working mum has asked the Bridlington community to help her to raise money which could prevent her baby from needing surgery on his skull.
If Tara Baker can find £2,200, it will pay for a special helmet for nine-month-old Lucas-Rylie, who has been diagnosed with flat head syndrome.
But the money must be collected within the next few weeks – or her son may have to wait until he is two years old to have risky surgery to correct his skull shape.
Tara is a social worker, specialising in child protection and safeguarding issues. She said: “I give so much to protect other people’s children, it would mean so much to me to have something back from the community to make sure my son can get the treatment he needs. It is life-changing for him.
“I’m a single mum but I work full time. I go out the door at 7am and take the kids to nursery and don’t get home until 6.15pm.
“Everybody is underfinancial burdens but small amounts can make such a big difference.”
“If everybody who reads this newspaper gave just 50p, it would make a massive difference.
Lucas-Rylie will have a fitting for his new helmet next Monday and Tara has already paid £600 towards the initial costs of the private treatment. The remainder is due in November, and she has started an online fundraising page to try to reach her target.
However, it is a race against the clock for the family.
“There is no treatment on the NHS at the minute because it is classed as cosmetic,” Tara explained.
“They say it is not significant now, and it will get better on its own but if it is still there when he is one-and-a-half he may need surgery.
“They say only 1% of babies need open skull surgery but he’d be left with scars across his head and there are risks associated with it and he’d still have to wear the helmet after the surgery.”
Tara, who has another son, nine-year-old Tyler, said she first noticed something was wrong but knew it was a problem which affects a number of babies.
“He was fine up until he was about two-and-a-half months old,” she said. “I spoke to the health visitor about a flattening to the back of his head.
“She said it was absolutely fine and nothing more than what other babies have, because he was lying on the back of his head.
“I left it another couple of months but there was no improvement so I made an appointment with the doctor and he was referred to a specialist.”
Tara has sought private advice, and been told Lucas-Rylie’s situation is ‘severe’ although wearing a specialist helmet for six to eight months will almost guarantee that he won’t need the risky operation.
She is not willing to take the gamble that the situation will improve naturally, and Tara added: “The earlier he starts to wear it, the better.”
“He is always happy and smiling. He has been in and out of hospital a few times but he is very resilient. He has started nursery and the staff there say he never cried and doesn’t get fazed by anything. I don’t think wearing the helmet will cause him any problems.”
To donate to Tara’s appeal for Lucas-Rylie, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tara-baker-2