A community has rallied behind a fundraising campaign to buy a little disabled boy a special helmet that will give him the chance of a better quality of life.
Little Jayden Epton, one, has Infant Torticollis and Plagiocephaly - two rare conditions that have left him with a misshapen head which restricts his movement.
The brave youngster’s family has hit out at the NHS over what they claim is a lack of support for children with such conditions.
But after hearing of their plight, generous residents raised £2000 so the family could buy little Jayden a special helmet, which should help to correct his condition.
Jayden’s grandmother Debbie Reynolds, 46, of Addison Road, Mexborough, said: “The NHS say there isn’t enough evidence the helmets work. But Jayden has only been wearing it for two weeks and doctors said he has already showed signs of improvement.
“It’s a good job people in the community are generous or we would have struggled to raise the money.”
Mum Michaela, 25, of Windhill Crescent, Mexborough, added: “The response shows how thoughtful people really are.
“Jayden is so brave. We’re hopeful the helmet will really help him.”
Infant Torticollis, which affects about one in 300 infants, leaves sufferers with a twisted neck and can be caused by certain positioning in the womb or after a difficult childbirth.
Plagiocephaly, also known as ‘flat head syndrome’, has caused Jayden’s head to be 12 millimetres larger on one side than the other.
He is unable to turn his head properly and turns slightly to the right. The brave boy has stiff neck muscles and he could develop spinal problems later in life if the condition is not treated properly.
He also has poor balance and is more at risk of falling over.
But the family has now managed to buy a star band helmet which should ease his condition and allow him more movement. He will wear it 23 hours a day for the next 12 months, by which time it is expected to have corrected his head shape sufficiently.
Jayden had it fitted at a private clinic in Leeds a fortnight ago.
This was all made possible through the extraordinary fundraising efforts of family members and well wishers.
Residents have donated to a sponsored 10k run by Jayden’s plumber dad Mark, 29, while Mexborough youngster Cory Plater, 11, also raised money by completing a sponsored bike ride from Mexborough to Barnsley and back.
Mexborough’s well known marathon runner Tommy Joyce MBE also collected money through bucket collections in pubs, while additional funds were generated at a raffle.
The sum was raised in less than a month.
Mrs Reynolds said: “The way people have supported us in the community has been amazing. We want to thank everyone.”
Nobody from the Department of Health had responded to our enquiries at the time of going to press.