INSPIRATIONAL Dan Kell from Ingleby Barwick was given a 33% chance of survival when he was born 16 years ago, now he’s raising money for the Neonatal Unit which saved his life.
Dan, who was born at 25 weeks gestation and weighing a tiny 2lb in December 2000, is taking on the mammoth Tees Pride 10k in September with his mum Michelle and Granddad Richard Scott to raise money for the Neoangels Charity.
Neoangels supports families of sick and premature babies at the University Hospital of North Tees.
Dan arrived unexpectedly early after a normal pregnancy when his mum Michelle suddenly began to feel unwell. She was rushed to hospital by her husband, but they didn’t make it to the delivery suite and Dan was born in A&E at the University Hospital of North Tees.
After more than three months on the Neonatal Unit at the University Hospital of North Tees, Dan finally went home to be with his mum Michelle and dad Stephen.
Doctors were initially concerned he would have brain damage caused by his extreme prematurity, however, Dan got the all clear and is now predicted A and B grades after sitting his GCSEs at Conyers School in Yarm last month.
Mrs Spellman, Headteacher of Conyers School in Yarm, said: “Daniel is a wonderful young man and a valued member of our community. It is a mark of what a special person he is that he can work so hard for such an important cause during his GCSE year. We are very proud of him.”
Dan who is an active runner with the Billingham Marsh House Harriers and dreams of being a Motorsport Engineer, said: “I owe everything to the doctors and nurses on this unit. They saved my life, I wouldn’t be here without them. I love running and I thought doing the 10k would be the perfect way for me to raise money to help both families and the staff, and show how grateful I am. It’s hard to believe I once weighed 2lb!”
Mum, Michelle said: “The Neonatal Unit at North Tees is simply remarkable, without them we wouldn’t have Dan.
“They still amaze me to this day, Dan had an operation on his knee last year and by chance the nurse taking care of him for his operation was a student on the Neonatal Unit when Dan was born.
“He then told us Dr Harikumar, who was Dan’s consultant during his time on the Neonatal Unit was doing a clinic that day, and sure enough he took the time after fifteen years to come and see one of his old patients. It was such a magical moment.
“We are raising money for Neoangels as the charity helps families going through what we went through and they also buy medical equipment for the ward – we’d love to help them in any way we can and give back to the doctors and nurses.”
The Tees Pride 10K takes place on Sunday 3rd of September, it is regarded as one of the top road races in the North East and is currently in its 13th year.
Neoangels Trustee, Jodie Jenkins said: “Here at Neoangels we are incredibly proud of Dan, Michelle and Richard for running for us. Neoangels didn’t exist when they were on the ward, so we feel very honoured that they have chosen to run for us this year.
“We will be behind them 100% and we’ll certainly be cheering them on from the side-lines.”
You can donate to Michelle, Richard and Dan here