A YOUNG man from Undy who was born prematurely weighing less than two pounds has marked his 21st birthday.

Brogan Mills was born at Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital after just 29 weeks.

Weighing just 1lb 12oz, he spent close to 10 weeks in special care, and had to endure months of check-ups afterwards.

But now a dad himself, and having suffered no long-term health complications Mr Mills said he would be "forever grateful" to the NHS staff who cared for him 21 years ago today.

South Wales Argus:

Brogan Mills as a premature baby

"They treat every child like their own," Mr Mills said of the hospital staff who helped deliver and care for him in his early days.

"For the jobs they do, they are really humble people,"

Mr Mills and his mum, Lucy Miller, were also keen to stress their story was evidence significantly premature babies are not necessarily vulnerable to long-term health problems.

"When somebody is in hospital with a premature baby, people might fear the worst, but they've got a fighting chance and they've got to hold onto hope," added Mr Mills.

"I lead just as normal a life as anybody."

South Wales Argus:

Brogan visiting the Special Care Baby unit at the Royal Gwent for his 10th birthday

Ms Miller, who lives in Magor, said the pregnancy had been without problems until the 29-week stage.

"I wasn't feeling the 10 movements a day, so I went to the Royal Gwent and the next thing I knew I was being rushed into theatre for an emergency Caesarian," she said.

"I was crying my eyes out. I'd not heard of premature babies until it happened to me."

South Wales Argus:

Brogan celebrating his 13th birthday with his mother

Baby Brogan weighed 5lb 10oz when Ms Miller was finally allowed to take him home.

And with the exception of a double hernia, which required surgery when he was younger, Mr Mills grew up without any major health concerns.

On his 18th birthday, he returned with his mum to the Royal Gwent to meet some of the hospital staff who helped deliver him.

Mr Mills is now a dad himself, to son Braiden, who was born to fiancée Shannon in August 2017.

South Wales Argus:

With his son Braiden (Picture: Chris Tinsley)

Tragically, the couple's second child, Noah, died stillborn last year.

Shannon said: "Brogan is a brilliant dad – there aren't many out there at his age who are so helpful."