A GRATEFUL mum who gave birth on the day lockdown began has paid tribute to her “caring, wonderful and outstanding” community after donations amounted to more than £1,500 – and are still rising.

Hannah Ball, aged 30, who lives in Chepstow, gave birth to baby Jordan at the end of March.

While Ms Ball – who has five children including Jordan – was concerned, she says she couldn’t have imagined what was in store for her and her family.

During lockdown she has missed out on usual experiences like taking part in baby groups, enjoying time with her extended family, and even getting her son weighed. But a difficult period turned even worse when baby Jordan was diagnosed with torticollis and plagiocephaly.

Torticollis is a problem with the muscles in the neck which causes the head to tilt down, while plagiocephaly can be defined as a flattening of one side of the skull.

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The NHS doesn’t ordinarily offer treatment for plagiocephaly, with most children expected to recover without treatment, but Ms Ball was worried her son’s head shape was worse than what she’d seen in other children.

After putting a post out on social media last week, Ms Ball says she has been blown away by the response.

“Lockdown has been utterly horrific,” she said. “The nurses at the Royal Gwent were fantastic and I can’t thank them enough, but after I left hospital in March it was so strange.

“I couldn’t see my family, I had almost no visits. I don’t even know how much Jordan weighs.

“I’d decided to pull the kids out of school two weeks before I had Jordan, because we have some people in the family who are vulnerable. I knew I’d be vulnerable with the baby too.”

After spotting a strange bulge on Jordan’s forehead last month, Miss Ball says she was informed by a health worker that the situation should right itself, but she felt she needed to get help.

“We went to Cardiff to see a private physio, who works with babies with Jordan’s condition. His measurements from the consultation showed his head was 14mm out of shape.

“They told me I needed to get him a helmet fitted to mould his skull into the correct shape.”

The bill for the treatment is £2,000, which Miss Ball knew she couldn’t afford.

“I have never asked anyone for money like this before, but I was getting the odd bit of money from people, and I just wanted to be as transparent about it as I could be, so people knew their money was going to a good cause,” she added.

“I put the post out last week and I’ve had money from so many people – including a few from Australia.”

Looking back on her time in lockdown, Miss Ball added: “I feel selfish to say it but it has been a really lonely time. To not have any time at all away from your five children is a strange feeling. I love them all but it’s enough to put you off!

“I’m so lucky to live in a town like Chepstow. I’ve had great support.”