Former Children’s Hospital patient gives back – The Telegraph

Janiya Pleas has found a unique way to give back.

After having two surgeries at The Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health in downtown Macon last year, the 15-year-old returned Wednesday morning to hand out gifts to sick children.

Janiya bought the presents with $100 her family gave her for her birthday the day before.

“When I came here, everyone was just so nice, and it inspired me to want to come back and give back,” Janiya said at the hospital while pushing a cart filled with more than 40 packages, each containing hats, socks and gloves.

Scoliosis, stomach issues and seizures were among the health issues that brought Janiya to the The Children’s Hospital last year, said her grandmother Oretha Dudley.

“She still comes back … (because the doctor) wants to see her yearly,” Dudley said.

A freshman at Washington County High School, Janiya recently won the school’s Miss Golden Hawk scholarship award pageant. The prize was $500 in scholarship money, which she said will help her on the way to becoming a pediatrician.

Walking with Dudley and her mother while donning her tiara and sash, Janiya visited children of all ages.

Jackson White, a 15-year-old from Pearson, had heart surgery Tuesday. He wasn’t expecting to be visited by a pageant queen in the intensive care unit.

“Here’s a hat and some socks to wear for when it gets cold,” Janiya said as she handed White a festive Christmas bag. “I hope you get better.”

“Well, thank you,” White said with a faint smile. White’s grandmother said he likely will use them when he gets home because “it’s going to be cold down there this weekend.”

On a different floor, 9-year-old Terryana Timpson relaxed in a room with her older sister, K’azyah, and their grandmother Mary Lee. Terryana has been in and out of the hospital since she was 15 months old, Lee said. Janiya gave both sisters gifts.

The act of kindness was touching, much like “the nurses that are so kind and beautiful,” said Lee, who lives in Cuthbert. “(The Children’s Hospital) is a loving, beautiful place. … (Terryana) looks forward to coming here. I (am) so joyful when I’m here with her. … Everybody’s just family here.”

Janiya’s mother, Charlet Pleas, said Janiya has always had a love for children but became interested in medical care because of her grandmother, a retired registered nurse of 40 years.

“(Dudley) would talk to her about … the medical field,” Charlet Pleas said. “(Janiya) just always said she was going to follow in her footsteps.”

Dudley said she’s touched by her granddaughter’s giving spirit.

“She’s an only child, so when her mother buys her (school) supplies, she has to buy extra because she knows Janiya’s going to give away just about all of it to … the needy children,” Dudley said. “She’s so tender-hearted.”

To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitternote>