Tonight I clapped for the NHS. I was even allowed to bang on a saucepan with a wooden spoon. My mum spoke to our neighbours more than she has in the whole three years we have lived here. Turns out they work as GPs.  

I clapped for Homerton Hospital because I was born there. That wasn’t the plan – but as my grandmother always says, 'make plans if you want to make God laugh'. My mum's a bit of a planner though – so she made lots before my birth. She involved various healthcare professionals along the way, birthing specialists, midwives, yoga teachers and lactation consultants. She kept everything in a folder and a 3D scan of me in her purse (it's still there now crumpled and worn).  

We stayed in the hospital for weeks. I wasn't well and had a team of doctors looking after me. It's all a bit of a blur for both of us. Injections and swaps, tears and formula, bright lights, tubes and exhaustion. All of that to a chorus of crying babies. Not quite the whale sounds mum had planned in her folder. 

Eventually I got better, and we could go home. You see, the NHS saved me. In fact, without the NHS I would have hardly come to be. It was the Heath Service that saved my dad’s life after his appendix burst and the NHS that patched my mum’s knees after she fell off a motorbike - not once but twice.  

Rewind even further in time and without the NHS my grandmother may have never recovered from her first asthma attack when she was a child or more recently she may have not made it to 2020 without the NHS looking after her in intensive care.  

My name is Milo, I am three and tonight I thanked the people who saved me.

Milo's mum Ana works as a Content Marketing Executive at the University of East London.

NHS graffiti with chalk on a wooden fence