Jeevan Kang celebrated his birthday this week and, to celebrate International Nurses Day, donated a cake to the neonatal unit at New Cross Hospital where he spent the formative weeks of his life.
Weighing just 1lb 10oz, Jeevan spent six weeks on the unit. As a result of his nine-week early arrival he struggled with his hearing and speech for several years, requiring therapy for both before learning to speak at the age of three.
Now he is in his second year of a BSc degree in football coaching development and administration delivered by Wolves Foundation via the University of South Wales.
As part of his studies, he is supporting teachers to deliver PE lessons to children at primary schools across Wolverhampton, as well as coaching youngsters.
So the cake – complete with ‘Thank you to the NHS’ – was a small gesture of generosity for staff on the unit that ensured he had a safe start to life more than two decades ago.
“I just wanted to thank them for what they did for me and what they do for everyone,” said Jeevan, who lives near Sedgley Beacon.
“Back when I was born, it was more difficult for the staff because they didn’t have the technology they have now to keep babies like me alive, so I’m really appreciative for what they have done.”
Jeevan presented the cake to Nikki Farrington, lead specialist nurse bereavement and family support, who started work on the unit in April 2000 – a month before he was born.
She said: “It was a lovely gesture by Jeevan – a really nice thing to do. When I mentioned it to my colleagues, they were really touched.
“When I put the news about the cake on social media, lots of nurses wished him happy birthday.
“Being born nine weeks premature isn’t such a big deal nowadays, but 22 years ago, he would have been quite poorly when he was born. When I met him he was huge – over six foot tall.”
The donations from the Kang family didn’t end with the cake – which was soon devoured by hungry staff, reported Nikki – as Jeevan’s aunt Mandy Kang made a delivery of samosas to mark International Nurses Day.