Hair-razing effort for children’s hospital

A Forfar girl facing major skull surgery has turned the experience on its head to raise funds for the hospital where she will receive treatment.

On Sunday Iona Stewart, her mum Audrey and family friend Josie Robertson took part in a joint headshave to and realised £285 for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital to where she will be admitted on February 11.

Iona, 6, was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis, a condition caused by fibrous sutures in an infant skull prematurely fusing and changing the skull’s shape.

The condition, which occurs in around one in 2,000 births, is usually treated with surgery which allows the skull to develop more naturally.

Iona subsequently underwent a corrective procedure at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow when she was six months old.

She was referred to Yorkhill last October, however, after complaining of headaches.

Audrey said: “She had a procedure to check to see if there was a build-up of pressure on her brain and she was in for a week as they found there was quite a high pressure build-up.

“There are two operations that could be carried out to reshape her skull; one involves putting in callipers that would be in for ten to twelve weeks and would have to be turned twice a day. At the moment we don’t know which one it will be.”

Audrey added that although Iona is facing the trip to Glasgow without any qualms, she is feeling more anxious the closer Iona’s admission date becomes.

She continued: “Iona’s okay about it but I’m just trying to keep going. The last week has just gone past so quickly, we organised the headshave at short notice and that gave me something else to think about.

“It’s tough because no-one is sure what procedure will be carried out until they can examine her properly, so I won’t know what they’ve done until she comes out of theatre.

“She’ll also have to go back and forth for check-ups.”

Although Sunday’s headshave, held in Troopers, raised £285 on the day, Audrey has distributed sponsor forms and collecting tins through family and friends and a page will be opened shortly at justgiving.com for further donations.

Audrey added: “We’ll keep the justgiving page open for about a month and then will present the cheque down at the hospital.

“I’m now finding it cold, but only in the house as I can wear my thermal hat outside, but apart from that it’s fine. I actually get an extra fifteen minutes in bed because I don’t have to get up to do anyone’s hair.”