A mother and daughter from Wolverhampton have proved two heads are better than one after uniting to shave off all their hair to raise over £1,500 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where daughter Meira Baker, 10, received lifesaving surgery on her skull.

Soon after Meira was born, her mum, Manjeet, noticed that her face was a little puffy, but thought nothing of it. However, at a routine check-up when she was nine-months, the health visitor highlighted that Meira’s face wasn’t symmetrical, and suggested Manjeet sought further tests for Meira to find out what was causing it.  

After having a head CT scan at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Manjeet received the shock diagnosis that Meira has lambdoid craniosynostosis, a rare condition where the skull fuses too soon, leaving it misshapen. As there was no immediate need for action, doctors decided they would continue to monitor Meira closely to see how her skull grows and ensure she doesn’t experience any adverse effects.

Over the next few years Meira carried on as a normal, happy kid, living her life to the full, until last year, when she started experiencing headaches and was acting out of character. This concerned Manjeet who contacted Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Meira was brought in for tests. Unfortunately, it was the news Manjeet was dreading. Meira’s skull had fused further and was putting pressure on her brain. She would need surgery.  

Ahead of Meira’s surgery, Manjeet prepared Meira for the fact that she would need to shave her head. To make this process easier to handle, the family decided that they all wanted to shave their heads together. However, Meira being considerate, was concerned her sister might be bullied as she was going into senior school, and that it wasn’t the best fashion choice for her dad! Meira then agreed that she would do it with her mum.

Although both were nervous, they decided to turn the negative into a positive by raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.  It was incredibly emotional for the pair, but a moment of bonding between them. The poignant gesture struck a chord with family, friends, and their community, who helped smash their initial target of £50 by quite some margin!

Meira went on to have the surgery and has recovered extremely well with no headaches and a complete return to her usual bright and bubbly self.

Manjeet said: “Meira is the happiest, most wonderful little girl and has been so brave throughout this entire process. She makes me so proud for the fundraising she’s done, thinking of others she could help. I am even prouder that we got to do this together, she is an inspiration to all.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Manjeet and Meira’s act of unity and bravery is a fantastic example of how patients and parents show incredible strength despite the cards they are dealt. Then, to fundraise together and channel that energy into a worthwhile cause, like the lifesaving work of our hospital, is simply incredible. We’re so thankful.”

If you’d like to fundraise for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, or to donate, please visit bch.org.uk or call 0121 333 8506.