In December of 2016 my wife gave birth to our identical twin girls, Joanna and Evelynn Frank! They are mommy and daddy's precious little tidbits :) Not long after she was born, Evelynn, the youngest by 2 minutes, was showing signs of plagiocephaly, a condition where the baby's head becomes misshapen. This can be caused by the lack of space in the womb and other issues such as torticollis where the baby tilts her head to one side consistently also when the baby sleeps on her back it can amplify this effect. Minor plagiocephaly is actually a common issue for babies.
Normally plagiocephaly can be fixed over time by helping the baby use the other side of her head, tummy time, and other positioning that helps reshape the head. Unfortunately, Evelynn has not been so lucky. She developed moderate to severe plagiocephaly and her head is not re-shaping as quickly as expected. Though it is not the worst case scenario, if it is not corrected before her head hardens, it could lead to extremely expensive medical issues, surgery, or a misshapen head for the rest of her life.
In the images below, you can see the outlines of Evelynn and Joanna's heads for comparison (Thank you Reid for the help). Sorry the pictures aren't the greatest, it's hard to take pictures with squirmy little ones. Red is Evelynn, green is Joanna. We overlaid Joanna's head on Evelynn for reference. Joanna's head is more round / oval shaped, like a normal baby. Evelynn on the other hand has a large flat spot on the back left side of her head and it sticks out on the right side. This makes her left ear seem to point out at an awkward angle. If you look closely at Evelynn's head, her flat spot starts at the crown of her head and extends down the back left to just above her neck.
Here is a link to a website that explains more about this issue: Plagiocephaly. This link also has helpful information, we are not affiliated with the company, but it has good information: Plagiocephay Treatment
After visits to the pediatrician, we started taking her to therapy to help resolve the issue. We started to see progress, then one day a bill came and we had no money left to pay it. As time progresses and Evelynn's head does not correct itself, we will need to find some way to pay for her therapy visits and possibly a helmet that is designed to correct the issue (thousands of dollars more).
The effect this has had on Evelynn is already quite significant. Because her head grows off to the side, she has a hard time trying to hold it up and balance it. She is doing better, but is far behind her sister (who is crawling) and other babies her age. The best she can do to move is roll. Countless times she has tried to crawl, reach or move just to end up flopping over due to the imbalance. Her leftear is pushed forward because of the shape of her head. It is very noticeable. However, on a happier note, this does not appear to have impacted her learning abilities. She loves playing and studying the new world around her. She is always full of giggles and loves playing with her sister!
Here are some of the issues leading to the lack of money we have for her therapy bills:
- Insurance covers absolutely none of this. We are trying to pay all of it out of pocket. We are fighting this with insurance, but the reality is Evelynn has a need now, we can't wait for insurance to pick it up (and there is no guarantee of that).
- We are still paying the birth bills, which are outrageous for twins, even after insurance.
- Diapers and formula are extremely expensive, we are using the cheapest brands possible of both and starting solids.
- Between other existing bills, life needs, and our location (which can't easily change, it isn't really worth it, or affordable to move) we are drowning in debt.
- No friends or family in town or close by that are able to assist in helping with daycare, etc... every day. Our closes family is over 2 hours away! This means my wife has to stay home instead of working because we cannot afford daycare.
- I make slightly too much for most assistance programs. literally by a couple thousand a year. This is extremely annoying since most programs don't account for your bills or actual need, just the number of people in your family and your income. When a family like ours is in need, we really need consideration and not just strict rules.
We need as much help as possible. We are trying to raise the money to pay for her future bills, a possible helmet, and whatever else it takes to get her head fixed before it's too late. Right now we need to raise money so we can schedule the next few appointments. They won't allow us to schedule until the existing bill is paid down. Any extra money will go to other existing medical bills related to Evelynn and her sister Joanna; diapers, food, and any other needs they may have down the line. The less we have to pay out for bills, the more we have to spend on our family.
We really appreciate you taking the time to read our plea for help. We hope you will take the time to consider the need for our baby Evelynn. She is such a happy bundle of giggles and does not deserve issues like this. We want to see her grow up with her sister and not fear the social pressures this would cause her, or have to suffer possible surgeries, or other treatments when she is older.
- The Frank Family
- Yoshia Matsumoto
- Linda Giunta
- Terry Murphy