orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

July 31, 2013

Fundraiser helps Malachi’s family cope

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Malachi Davis is an inquisitive 7-month-old who enjoys watching the world and tries not to miss any thing happening near him.

But a medical condition, torticollis, limits the motion of Malachi’s neck, making it difficult for his to follow the action around him and has also led to a condition known as flat head syndrome.

Babies with torticollis often sleep with their heads turned to the side, which can result in a flat spot on their skull because they don’t change their position.

Parents have been told since the early 1990s to put their babies to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS. The advice has saved thousands of babies' lives, but experts have noticed a fivefold increase in misshapen heads since then.

Sarah Davis, Malachi’s mother, said they knew something was different at birth.

“His head was misshapen,” Davis said. “But we were told it would straighten out.”

Davis spoke with the pediatrician at three months. The concern was raised that Malachi’s soft-spot may have already closed up. However, Malachi’s soft spot was not on top of his head but over by one of his ears.

Tests for checking the symmetrical measurements for Malachi showed he was in need of treatment.

“Normally, the results are 10-11 mm off when treatment is started,” Davis said. “His were 23.5 mm off.”

Davis said treatment will help, but at best, the doctors are expecting the baby will still be 10-11 mm off.

The condition is causing Malachi’s facial features to move to one side.

Treatment requires the infant to wear a specially designed helmet for most of the day for at least six months as well as having massage therapy.

Davis, who has three children under the age of three, said her biggest concern is his older brothers wanting to rough house because they think the helmet is a football helmet.

“God has given me a peace about the situation,” Davis said.

Caleb Davis, Malachi’s father, is an officer with the Orange Police Department.

“It has been a huge blessing,” Caleb Davis said concerning a benefit held for his son on Tuesday. “It shows the love and how close knit the police department is with helping one another.”

Officer Jeff Busby of the Orange Police Department along with Officer Jonathan Baggett helped organize the link sale held in front of WalMart.

“I have three children and I put myself in his [Caleb’s] position,” Busby said. “I know if I needed $10,000 for my children, I would do anything in my power.”

Busby said the Police Union was contacted and the benefit fell together from there.

“The Jefferson County police have a program called Cops Helping Kids and they held a benefit Friday night,” Busby said. “After accepting the funds raised, Davis went to work Friday night and was injured at work.”

Caleb suffered a knee injury during a foot pursuit. Caleb said the suspect was apprehended.

Sarah said the helmet alone cost $3,400 which must be paid in full by the end of treatment, which is expected to be in October.

For anyone who wants to make a donation can do so at Wells Fargo located at 3770 N. 16th St. or 400 N. 16th St. in Orange by informing the teller is a donation account for Malachi Davis.