A MOTHER is pleading for help so her young son can have a life-changing operation.
Jalie Antal’s son Kieran was born with a condition known as tongue tie and needs the op so he can live a normal and healthy life.
The condition means the mobility of the two-year-old’s tongue is heavily restricted, which limits his ability to eat and speak properly and may also lead to oral hygiene problems later.
Initially the problem was not noticed during any of Kieran’s check-ups. In the end it was a friend who spotted it, and when Jalie took Kieran to a doctor, he was referred to Great Western Hospital.
There, a consultant saw Kieran and he was recommended for the relatively simple operation.
However, GWH has now told 21-year-old Jalie, of Moredon, her son is not eligible for the procedure.
“After taking ages to diagnose the problem they now say they won’t help,” she said. “Kieran is three next month but can still only eat soft foods like a one-year-old. However they say because he is not underweight he cannot have the operation on the NHS.
“They are also saying that because his speech is not impaired they will not help, but he’s only two so how can they tell yet?”
Jalie’s main concern is that Kieran will suffer as he grows up. Another family member suffered with the condition until they had the operation aged eight and she does not want Kieran to go that ordeal.
“This will become a much bigger issue as he grows up,” Jalie said. “He will not be able to talk to his friends or eat his sandwiches with them.”
Jalie is now looking to have the surgery carried out privately and this will cost nearly £1,200.
Other family members have helped raise £500 but now Jalie is struggling to reach the full amount.
“I am really desperate and this is my final option as everything else has been exhausted.”
Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, affects between three and 10 per cent of newborn babies but in many cases sorts itself out early on in a child’s development.
An op can sometimes even be carried out by a midwife but Kieran’s condition is considered serious enough that he will need general anaesthetic.
A spokesman for GWH said referred us to the Primary Care Trust. No one there was available for comment last night. - by Michael Benke