Ahmed comes from Kuwait and is the youngest of five children. In 2021, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, which has been treated by Dr Stephen Daw at University College Hospital. 

“We noticed that Ahmed had swelling on his neck initially, which is when we visited our doctor in Kuwait,” said Ahmed’s mother, Nabeela. “After his diagnosis, he was treated at a hospital in the USA, where happily he went into remission. We returned home to Kuwait, but after one year, the cancer unfortunately came back. 

“I was keen that he was seen in the UK this time. His brother had previously been diagnosed with neuroblastoma at three months old, and we had had a very positive outcome from his treatment there. Our doctor mentioned Dr Daw to us as an expert in Hodgkin lymphoma, and we agreed that University College Hospital would be the best place for Ahmed to go. We had been so worried before we arrived in the UK, but absolutely everyone helped us.” 

The family was supported by Dr Stephen Daw, one of UCLH’s consultant paediatric and adolescent haemato-oncologists. 

“From our first conversations with Dr Daw, we were impressed. We appreciated how much he treated Ahmed as a person, and not as a little boy. Everything he told us was really clear,” said Ahmed’s father, Saleh. 

Ahmed’s treatment began with chemotherapy followed by groundbreaking proton beam therapy; a highly targeted treatment which aims to only destroy cancer cells and leave the nearby healthy cells alone. Aside from minor side effects, Ahmed has coped very well with it all and has responded positively to his treatment. The hospital’s team of doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals have all been available to support him throughout his care. 

“One of the nurses even came with me into the operating theatre,” said Ahmed. 

“The moral support provided by the clinical team is so strong here,” said Nabeela. “We hadn’t ever experienced something like that in Kuwait. We have appreciated it so much.” 

Ahmed has also expressed his appreciation for the wider support at UCLH. 

“I love the play team at UCLH,” said Ahmed. “We have a PlayStation, and activities like painting. It’s a lot of fun. If there are other children out there like me and they are worried about coming to the hospital, I would say go straight to the playroom and don’t worry!”