Corine Kaufman describes her daughter, Paisley, as a typical, 9-month-old “wild child.”
The baby is happy, she’s crawling and climbing and has started to walk while holding onto furniture.
“She’s very wide open,” Kaufman said. “She’s all over the place.”
But right now, Paisley is wearing a DOC Band, also called a cranial orthosis, used to treat deformational plagiocephaly. In simpler terms, the back of Paisley’s skull is very flat, and one side of her forehead is higher than the other.
“Medically, (plagiocephaly) won’t affect her too much,” Kaufman said. “But we can’t tell if it’ll get worse.”
If the condition isn’t treated, Paisley could grow up with facial deformity, and glasses, hats and sports helmets won’t fit properly as she gets older. It can also cause jaw misalignment and, with such a visible deformity, low self-esteem, according to Cranial Technologies, the company treating Paisley for her condition.
But Medicaid wouldn’t pay for the cranial band because it wasn’t deemed medically necessary, Kaufman said. Paisley’s dad, Bobby, works, but Kaufman is a stay-at-home mom. The cost of the band and related doctor visits is around $3,000, so the family decided to set up a gofundme.com account in November.
Paisley was fitted with the band shortly after Christmas. It is designed to apply pressure to her cranium to improve cranial symmetry and shape. She wears it 23 hours a day and has to go to Cranial Technologies in Charlotte every two weeks for imaging to monitor the changes.
According to Cranial Technologies, nearly 47 percent of infants are affected by plagiocephaly, also known as “flat head syndrome.” Kaufman said she’s learned that more babies are affected now because of the recommended sleep position for infants, on their backs.
“We did ‘tummy time’ with Paisley and trained her to sleep on her side in a safe way, and we saw a little change,” Kaufman said.
But it wasn’t enough, so Paisley was fitted with the cranial band. She’ll wear it three to four months.
Kaufman said she was pleasantly surprised at the results of the online fundraiser. Friends and family shared the account on Facebook, and family members contributed. But after about six weeks, Kaufman has found that more strangers have given – to help a little girl they don’t even know.
“Every little bit counts,” Kaufman said. “It’s wonderful that everyone came together to help. It’s been a blessing. We’re more than half way there.”
Want to know more?
Anyone who would like to learn more about Paisley or donate to her care can visit gofundme.com/c4bxxef8.