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  1. ITV Report

Baby Giovan was given a 20% chance of survival when he was born 16 weeks early - now he's a 6 foot 3 inch tall graduate

  • One of the smallest babies ever to be cared for by doctors in Derby is now 21 and has celebrated his graduation!
  • Giovan Hayer was born 16 weeks early weighing only 0.710kg
  • The family want to celebrate this milestone and give hope to other families of premature babies.

Giovan Hayer was born 16 weeks early, weighing only 0.710kg and 32.5cm in length.

In 1997, he was read the last rites in the Special Care Baby Unit at Derby City hospital, as he only had 20% chance of survival.

He went on to spend five months there.

Credit: ITV News Central/family photo

We have often thought of the wonderful SCBU staff for all that they did to gift us with our only child, Giovan, against the odds of coming into this world at 24 weeks of my pregnancy.

We will be forever in debt to them for their exceptionally high professional standards, meticulous approach to the premature baby care and the consideration they continually afforded to us as parents at what was a very traumatic and frightening time.

Dr Nigel Ruggins, Dr Dodd and their neo-natal care teams brought calm and peace to our hearts and gave us strength to go through the months whilst at SCBU and for when we left to make it our life journey of believing it was all possible and believe in ourselves and Giovan that it will all be great.

– Jagjit Hayer
Credit: Family photo

He's just celebrated his graduation from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in English.

Credit: Family photo

Giovan studied at Derby Grammar School for GCSEs and A Levels and then went on to university where he completed his BA (Hons) English Language degree this year.

Giovan went from a 0.710kg, 32.5cm long premature baby to a 6ft 3inches tall young man, who is a FA junior league referee and is passionate about sport.

We wanted to acknowledge and praise the NHS/SCBU teams that the wonderful profession they have chosen gives gifts in abundance to families like ours; their hard work and dedication gifted us with a wonderful son, who is exceptionally kind, caring, considerate and loving.

He continually amazes us with his inner strength and resilience.

– Jagjit Hayer
Credit: Family photo

We just wanted to give hope to anyone who might be facing/going through what we did - and let them know that the situation is not always textbook clear - that there is always hope and all kinds of possibilities and positivity that could come as a result of such an emotionally testing journey of having such a premature baby.

He really has defied the odds stacked against him and all the worst case scenarios we were told - miracles do happen.

– Jagjit Hayer