Former patient gives back to St Mary’s

A former patient of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside gave back to the hospital who nursed him back to health as a five-year-old.
As a child, James Spaight was ill with a severe asthma. At the hospital, a team of nurses, doctors and volunteers helped him gradually recover.
To thank them, he has started a gift-giving tradition, recently presenting each of the hospital’s 65 volunteers with gift bags of cosmetic and body care products as tokens “of what they do for the kids.”
“I hold St. Mary’s close to my heart because of the wonderful work they did with me and continue to do for all the numerous children they help today,” said Spaight.
Spaight currently works as a real estate salesperson and a limousine dispatcher.
Each year for the past four years, Spaight checks the number of volunteers at the hospital to make sure that he has enough gift bags for each of them.
After his first year of donating, he and his wife, Iris, saw the volunteers work and felt they deserved more than just a meal for their time.
“It takes a real strong person to donate their time,” he said. “They’re basically the angels…of the world.”
He also participates in the Toys for Tots program at the hospital, providing kids with clothes and toys. Spaight lets children pick gifts for their parents, too, including aftershave gel, perfumes and body lotions.