This is my friends son. Please help Sawyer.
This is my son, Sawyer Baldwin. At his 4 month checkup, his pediatrician noticed his head was larger than normal babies. Dr. Melendez then referred us to Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta Orthotics and Prosthetics for the Cranial Remolding Program.??
Our first visit:???????
Sawyer was diagnosed with Positional Plagiocephaly "Flat Head Syndrom" (Flat head syndrome usually happens when a baby sleeps in the same position most of the time or because of problems with the neck muscles) and infant Torticollis (A condition in which the neck muscles contract, causing the head to twist to one side.)
We did our first 3D scan on the Starscanner machine to get the full measurements of Sawyers' head.
Sawyers' head was measuring at 98.6%. They like it to be about 89% to 90%.
They didn’t want to jump on the helmet treatment yet because United Healthcare does not cover the
helmet because they consider it cosmetic. So they sent us home with advice to do lots of “tummy
time”, go to physical therapy, and purchase a “noggin nest” pillow. We did all of those things hoping
we could avoid the helmet.
The doctors told us if we could make an improvement to about 93%-94% we could avoid the helmet and continue what we were doing at home. We would go back in month to have more scans to check for improvement.
We went out and purchased the pillow to put in his bed and in his car seat. We did Children’s Physical
therapy for torticollis on line, we did lots of tummy time and jumping in the jumper. We kept him of his
head unless he was sleeping or in the car seat.
During the time before our next visit, CHOA called to tell us that United Healthcare rejected the
treatment plan, just to prepare us in case we needed the helmet.
Our second visit:
Sawyer was in the best mood (I think because he was shirtless for the scan, he loves to be naked) so we were able to get the scans quickly. They have the screen set up where we can see last visits image compared to the current image. We could instantly tell that it was no better. Sawyers' head actually grew more and was now at 99.8%. His doctor had re-diagnosed him with Brachycephaly. She believes that his torcollis and skull shaping are linked to each other. The doctor left the room to check around to see what resources we could use to help get the helmet because he medically needs it. She told us we could apply for a grant from Children’s Healthcare, but chances are we would be turned down because we made to much money. She said
families with 2 jobs typically “make too much money”.
Treatment with the helmet:
Sawyer will have to wear the helmet for 23 hours a day for about 3 to 4 months. We will go to
Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta every two weeks for “shaving the helmet” to form it as his head grows
and intense physical therapy.
Without the helmet:
It could worsen his torticollis, he would have an abnormally large head, it would affect him later on
when trying to play sports and trying to get a sports helmet to fit and give the protection that is
We already knew we’d do whatever it took to make sure Sawyer got his helmet. That is why we are doing a gofundme account now.
We’ve appealed with United Healthcare and re-filed. His doctors said they would write letters until they are blue in the face. Upon further research we’ve found United Healthcare is very strict about things they do not cover, and routinely deny requests for this helmet.
We’ve read quite a few stories about other people in our situation dealing with United Healthcare not
covering their child’s helmet needs.
This cost of this helmet is $3700. Then there is all the Physical therapy and numerous other costs associated with all the travel time, deductibles and co-pays. These are mounting daily and it seems there is no end in sight right now.
In the end, all we want is our son to have a normal life, and be able to play sports - if he wants - or do anything else he wants to do. He deserves to be able to do that. We need your help. My wife Christy and I both work full time, but we just cannot do this without you. We thank you for all your help, and appreciate it more than you know. Our son, Sawyer also thanks you!