Date of release: June 5th 2018
They may be exactly 70 years apart, but both share a very special birthday.
Graham Brueton was one of the first babies born the day the NHS was created and Maria Lapadatescu was the first baby born at New Cross Hospital on the NHS’ milestone birthday, 70 years on.
Before the National Health Service was created, patients were generally required to pay for their health care.
But that all changed on July 5th 1948 when health secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS as part of a hugely ambitious plan to bring free healthcare to all.
Since then the NHS has grown to be the UK’s largest employer and a world-leader in innovative health care.
Mr Brueton, a retired builder, said he was told he was one of the first babies to arrive at New Cross Hospital.
He said: “I was born at home in Lawrence Avenue, Wolverhampton at 2.30am. However my mother Brenda suffered a haemorrhage and we had to be rushed into hospital.
“We both recovered well and my mother had a fit and healthy life until she passed aged 83.
“It is very exciting to think I may be one of the first babies born on the NHS. The NHS is such a valuable and brilliant healthcare system.
“I always think I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth as I was born the day the NHS was born. I have been very lucky and had a brilliant life ever since.”
Mr Brueton said he relied on the NHS when he was 14 as he was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and battled with it for four months. Mr Brueton made a full recovery from this.
He said: “I owe a lot to the NHS. It is brilliant and helped me. I had relatives who worked at New Cross Hospital and also my two children Trevor and Jenny were born at the hospital.
“As we have always lived close to New Cross we have seen it grow and grow over the years. It looks a lot different to what it used to. Things have progressed so much.”
Over in the maternity unit, baby Maria was the first to be born at New Cross Hospital on the NHS 70th birthday.
Baby Maria was born at 1:24am this morning and weighed 6lb6. New parents Mikhael and Maria spoke to Trust Talk about their new arrival.
Dad Mikhael said: “The labour took a while but we were very happy when we saw her for the first time. I was not so strong as I expected, there were definitely a few tears! Then Maria held the baby for the first time and all was well. We want to thank Catherine and Barbara the midwives – they were amazing.”
Notes to Editor