Government won’t cover cost of baby Freddie’s care

By Mary Dennehy

THE community is being invited to support a fundraising drive for five-month-old Freddie Dunne, who, born prematurely, needs vital life-changing treatment which is not provided for in Ireland.

Little Freddie, who lives in Jobstown with his mam Claire, dad Stephen and three brothers, arrived prematurely at 24 weeks after a difficult pregnancy that resulted in Freddie being born with a condition called positional utero plagiocephaly – which is a severe malformation of the skull.

Funds for Freddie 4 cropped

Freddie’s mam Claire McLaughlin told The Echo that her boy’s condition means his skull will not develop properly and is continuously shifting, and if left untreated can lead to him losing his hearing, his sight and suffering further damage to his brain.

Claire said: “Freddie’s skull is shifting towards the right and will continue to shift if left untreated.

“This shifting will compress his brain, damage his eyes and cause problems with his hearing – his ear canal is not in the right place to the movement.

“We know that he does feel pressure and if we notice his eyes look smaller, we know that he has a headache.”

In order to prevent any further damage to Freddie’s development, Claire and Stephen are bringing their little boy to Manchester at the end of the month for treatment – which will see a unique helmet made for Freddie that he will wear 23 hours a day, for one year.

Freddie will also have to travel back to the clinic in Manchester every two weeks for 12 months for scans and readjustments.

“There is no treatment available in Ireland so we are being forced to travel abroad to help our baby boy,” Claire said.

“To our absolute shock, our Government does not even cover the cost of his treatment as it is too rare.”

Freddie’s family and friends are now trying to raise €5,000 for the first stage of Freddie’s treatment, which includes the helmet and the fortnightly scans.

“We notice change in Freddie all of the time, and the quicker we can get him this treatment the better,” Claire told The Echo.
“He’s a brilliant little boy and is always smiling – nothing phases him.

“It’s so important that we can get him this treatment now. This helmet will help to shape Freddie’s head and give it room to grow properly.”

The community is invited to attend a Funds for Freddie fundraiser in the Abberley Court Hotel on Saturday, March 25, at 8.30pm.

Tickets cost €10 and include food, DJ and spot prizes – such as an iPhone 5, holiday voucher and a gift certificate for a tattoo.
Some brave men will also be getting waxed on the night by the staff of the Tan Fairy hair and beauty salon in Kingswood.

To buy tickets, or to donate any prizes, contact Claire on 085 8385723 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Alternatively, visit the Funds for Freddie Facebook page or donate on the Funds for Freddie gofundme.com page HERE.

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