Lorien Heasman’s daughter Devon suffers from plagiocephaly – a condition also known as ‘flat head syndrome’ where the head is flattened on one side.
Devon, who was born a twin, ended up with the condition after developing in an awkward position in the womb. There was not enough amniotic fluid inside the womb to cushion her, which, according to www.nhs.uk, means the baby’s head can become temporarily deformed as it travels down the birth canal.
Lorien, 31, of Ashurst Way, East Preston, said: “When she was born she had a really odd-shaped head. It’s not a life-threatening condition but in severe cases it can affect their development – Devon’s sister Elodie was rolling a month before her.
“It has a lot of psychosocial issues. If they have odd-shaped heads they can get picked on and it can damage their confidence.”
Lorien and her husband Craig, 31, began researching the condition and spoke to other mums. One of the mums they spoke to, whose child had the condition, said she left it to correct itself but it did not work – and it was now too late to do anything.
Lorien said: “A lot of other mums said helmet therapy is the best thing for their children. The NHS don’t pay for it because it’s deemed as cosmetic. So we decided to fundraise.”
After asking her close friends for fundraising ideas, Lorien’s friend Steve Boyd decided to cycle from Worthing to Paris with his friends Kieran Charles and Tony Yates.
Last month, the trio set off at 7pm on a Friday night and arrived in Paris at 6.10pm the next day, raising more than £1,600.
Lorien said: “I was shocked. I thought we would try and raise £500, I didn’t expect it to raise as much as it did. I was so happy.”
The helmet cost £1,950, so Lorien and Peter paid the remainder using a credit card and are fundraising to pay it off.
Devon needs to wear the helmet for six months and Lorien is hopeful it will fully correct the plagiocephaly.
She said: “I’m really pleased we have taken this route. I haven’t heard of anybody the helmet hasn’t worked on.”
The plastic helmet has a foam inner-lining and is shaped in a way that leaves space for parts of the head to grow in the areas it needs to.
The couple have organised a quiz night at the Vintners Parrot, in Warwick Street, Worthing, at 7pm on October 16. Tickets are priced at £5 and are available behind the bar. Extra money raised will be donated to the charity Headstart4Babies.