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Cancer survivor starts school

News   •   Sep 13, 2018 09:01 BST

Ismael pictured with his Mum Nazia who was supported at Acorn House.

A four year old boy who has defeated leukaemia has started school for the first time!

Starting school for Ismael Hussain, from Luton, is a huge step for him and his Mum, Nazia Shah. At just 16 months old, Ismael was diagnosed with leukaemia and since then he has undergone intense chemotherapy treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Ismael also required a colostomy bag at 17 months old and has also had to undergo a number of operations related to this at that time.

Although he still requires blood transfusions and future operations to reverse his stoma, Ismael proudly started Hillborough Infant School this month. Mum Nazia says:

“Ismael has been so excited to pop on his school uniform and finally join his older siblings at school. He has been restless at home and is mentally very ready to learn. He is such a clever boy, and loves dinosaurs in particular. He will correct other family members if they mispronounce dinosaur names! In fact, he’s told us that he actually wants to be a dinosaur when he grows up.

“Although the school has been very supportive, and the school nurse and teacher have been trained to deal with his colostomy bag, I am still quite nervous that he will get another infection. He will only be attending part time to begin with, depending on his condition each day.”

While Ismael has undergone treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, his family has been supported by The Sick Children’s Trust on multiple occasions with free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at Acorn House, one of the charity’s ten houses nationwide supporting families with seriously ill children in hospital. Nazia, who has previously fundraised for the charity to thank them for keeping her just minutes from her son’s hospital bedside, adds:

“The Sick Children’s Trust’s ‘Homes from Home’ meant that we had one less thing to worry about as a family. It was nice to have a space away from the busy wards, and when Ismael’s brother and sister came to visit, they had somewhere to play.”

The Sick Children’s Trust relies entirely on voluntary donations to keep its ‘Homes from Home’ running. Every year the charity supports around 4,000 families with seriously ill children in hospital, and it costs £30 to provide a family with accommodation for one night. Abigail Abdel-aal, House Manager at Acorn House, says:

“It’s wonderful to hear that Ismael has recovered so well and has started school! We wish him the best of luck in the future!”

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