"Caleb was only a couple of months old when we noticed that his head was going flat on one side. At first I mentioned it to family members and friends who said it is quite common and it would correct itself once he was sitting up rather than lying down. We kept an eye on it and mentioned it to the health visitor and our GP at Caleb’s 8 week check. Again I was told it was nothing to worry about and said to give him plenty of tummy time.
As a first time mum I followed what I’d read, that I should always lay Caleb to sleep on his back to prevent cot death. I was too scared to lay him any other way. I did try wedging a pillow to keep him lying on his right side when in his cot and rolled a blanket up when he was in his pram and wedged it under his head. He was obviously comfortable, as whatever I tried he would always manage to lay facing left.
It got so bad Caleb’s Dad and I spoke about nothing else. All I could see when I looked at my beautiful baby was how flat his head was. We noticed his ears were out of line and one side of his forehead was bulging.
I made an appointment, this time with another GP. He told he didn’t think it was anything to worry about but that he would refer us to a consultant for a second opinion. At the appointment the consultant did lots of checks on Caleb. She sent a letter to our GP stating he had positional plagiocephaly which is likely to improve and become less noticeable. She referred us to the physiotherapist for advice on posture and encouraging Caleb to turn his head the opposite way.
I felt like I was getting nowhere. Caleb’s head was getting worse and I was upset about it every day. I got in contact with my friend, and she gave me the details of the Steeper Clinic she had taken her son to.
Before our second physio appointment, I emailed the Steeper Clinic and was given an appointment for the following Tuesday. At this point I felt so much better. I knew I was going to somewhere that could help my baby.
At our first appointment with the Clinical Specialist Orthotist, Kate, she scanned Caleb’s head. I remember her telling me, he wasn’t the worst she had seen but was up there with the worst. Caleb’s first Oblique Diagonal Difference was 24.5 and classed as very severe. We made the decision there and then that we wanted Caleb to have the helmet. Two weeks later we went back to the clinic where the helmet was fitted.
Each time we visited the clinic Caleb’s head had improved. He wore the helmet 23 hours a day and it didn’t bother him one bit. I was quite nervous about him wearing it to start with but as time went on it became part of him. He got so much attention everywhere we went.
When Caleb has just turned 1 year, we took him to a follow up appointment with the consultant wearing his helmet and she discharged us.
Caleb wore his helmet for 7 months and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. When Caleb had his head scanned for the last time his Oblique Diagonal Difference was down to 7. We knew it would never be perfect and never expected it be. We were so happy and Caleb’s head looked amazing and still does.
At our first appointment Kate gave us information about the charity HeadStart4Babies, which helped us with paying for the treatment and were brilliant. We organised a Charity Race Night to raise money for both ourselves and for the Headstart4Babies. The local newspaper approached us to write an article, local businesses donated amazing raffle prizes and we even had an anonymous donation through the paper. Over £1000 was raised and the support we were given was unbelievable.
As well as the race night, a Newark based business donated £100, a local man did a Swimathon raising over £300 and a local gym held a Strong Man Event raising £489.
I felt so alone before I found the Steeper Clinic and I am so happy we made the journey to Leeds. Kate and Alex have been amazing and we can’t thank them enough for what they have done for Caleb."
- Caleb's mum