This is a story of Devastation, of Hope, of Unconditional Love and of how complete strangers pulled together and restored some Faith in Humanity by being a part of making a terminally ill child’s Dream Come True.

Muhammad Hussain was born to ecstatic parents, Fahrad and Kaamielah, on 15 September 2009, and for the first six months of his Life, Muhammad was a happy, bubbly and normal baby.

At the age of 6 months his parents began noticing that he was not always that well, and after numerous visits to the paediatrician he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in August 2010, and spent his first birthday in hospital. HLH is a very rare blood disease and immune system disorder, and according to Swedish studies, occurs in 1 or 2 cases per million, usually in infancy or early childhood.

After starting a search for a bone marrow match due to HLH, Muhammad was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February 2012, at the age of 2.

 

Muhammad’s Mommy is a nurse and the Family was on her medical aid; his Daddy was a pharmacy assistant and then sold toys and clothing after Muhammad’s birth. They had to make the very difficult decision that Mommy would continue working, mainly to keep Muhammad on medical aid as no medical aid would accept a child newly diagnosed with cancer, and Daddy would give up his job and become Muhammad’s primary care-giver.

To step down as his Family’s breadwinner and commit to around-the-clock care for his son had a huge impact on this father’s life. For many months at a time, while Muhammad was in hospitals for treatment, often very far away from their home in PE, he would not have his wife, family or friends to lean on for support.

Mommy had to get up daily and, knowing her own child was desperately ill, still had to put on a brave face and spend her days taking care of others; sometimes complete strangers‘ children, while unable to be with her own very ill child.

The emotional, psychological, social and economic strain on these incredibly brave parents has been enormous.

In February 2012, the Little Fighters Cancer Trust did a Bag of Hope delivery to all the children and parents in Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Muhammad and Daddy were in the back, left -hand side room, at the end of the hall – one of the last room visits we did that day. When we do a Bag of Hope delivery to a Hospital Ward, we liaise with the Hospital beforehand, and this time around we were made aware that there is a Father as one child’s bedside care-giver. Up to that time we had always packed Mommy Bags, so we quickly adjusted, replacing female toiletries and sanitary products, with male goods. This was the first Daddy’s Bag of Hope we ever packed.

The impact of meeting Muhammad’s Daddy for the first time will stay with us for Life. When we walked into the room, it was slightly dim with the lights off; Muhammad was in the bed with his back to the door, and Daddy got up and with a very puzzled look on his face, greeted us, not quite sure who these strangers were.

I got to the room first, and full of smiles, explained who we were, and that we had brought gifts for him and Muhammad – a supply of food and toiletries for Dad and toys, snacks, toiletries, blanket and more, for Muhammad.

What happened whilst I was smilingly talking will stay with me until my last days here on Earth. This Father’s face changed, he walked right into my arms, and broke down in tears of gratitude. You see, he had been in that hospital room for months, without any assistance, friends or family. He is short in stature, and I remember turning my head to one side so that he could fit into my embrace tighter, as he was clinging, not onto me, but onto hope.

With my head turned, my eyes were directed at the shiny hospital floor, and for the first time in my Life, I saw tears literally bounce on the floor. Now, I have one rule in a Hospital Ward, one that anyone who has ever joined us for a Hospital Outreach or Delivery knows… “YOU DO NOT CRY” – If you can’t handle what you see, walk out.

This was a situation from which I could not walk out – I bit the insides of my cheeks and tasted the frankness of blood in my mouth, the saltiness of almost-tears, thick in my throat. I had to get back-up, so after a while, I excused myself, promising I will be right back.

I went looking for Tommy, who was busy with parents in another room, and by the look on my forced smiling face, he knew he needed to come with me. If you know Tommy, you will know he is a huge man. That day, in February 2012, he left the hospital with the entire front of his 5xl shirt sopping wet with another Father’s tears.

Read the rest of this article about Muhammad and how the Little Fighters Cancer Trust organised, together with a LOT of help from sponsors and others, to make a Dying Boy's Dream come True, despite OVERWHELMING ODDS, on the Little Fighters Cancer Trust Blog

 

 

 

Published by Billi Dp