Prince Willam and Kate comfort child patients at Shaukat Khanum Hospital
On their historic, royal tour of Pakistan, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH) in Lahore.
Prince William was following in the footsteps of his mother, Princess Diana, who visited the hospital twice, when it was being established by former Cricketer and Prime Minister Imran Khan. At Pakistan’s only state-of-the-art cancer facility, dedicated to providing free treatment for poor patients, the royal couple were warmly welcomed by SKMCH CEO Dr Faisal Sultan and administrative staff.
The highlight of their visit was at the paediatric ward, where William and his wife spent time with child patients undergoing treatment. William and Kate met five year-old Muhammad Samir, who is undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma. They were told that Muhammad wants to be a soldier when he grows up, and Prince William challenged him to a round of his fishing game. As the two competed to hook fish, Mohammad easily beat William, and the Duke remarked that his opponent was doing rather well considering some of the fish didn’t even open their mouths.
The Royal couple also met seven year-old Wafia Rehmani. The youngest of nine siblings, Wafia’s parents brought her over the border from Afghanistan to receive treatment at Shaukat Khanum Hospital. Wafia has a kidney tumour, and is on her second course of chemotherapy. Her doctors said they are hopeful that she will recover. Wafia, who wants to be a doctor when she grows up, hosted a toy tea party on her bed for Kate Middleton. The two wore matching tiaras as they enjoyed their tea, and then the little girl showed the royals her toy medical set.
Prince William and Kate were given a tour of the hospital and its grounds where they met and spoke to patients and their families. Dr Aasim Yusuf, chief medical officer at the hospital, guided their tour, just as he’d done with Princess Dianna during her last visit, one year before she died. Diana was on a private visit at the time to raise funds for the hospital. She was accompanied by Imran Khan and his then wife, Jemima Goldsmith –who was a close friend of the Princess.
Recalling Princess Diana’s visit, Dr. Asim remarked on how friendly and down to earth she was, which put everyone at ease despite their nervousness to be hosting her. Today, Dr. Asim expressed that they felt honoured to be welcoming her son and his wife.
Administrative staff informed news outlets covering the royal tour that SKMCH is able to provide free cancer treatment for 75 -80% of its patients, annually. It was established in 1994, by Imran Khan who lost his mother to cancer. Following the harrowing ordeal of her treatment, the then cricketer was driven by a need to redress Pakistan’s dearth of medical resources when it came to treating cancer. Today, the 195-bed hospital accepts 10,000 new cancer patients each year. Prime Minister Imran khan still serves as chairman of the honorary board of governors. Find out more.
Last year at Shaukat Khanum Hospital, we were able to provide free cancer treatment to 75% of our patients through your donations. Many of them were children like Wafia Rehmani and Muhammad Samir, who were saved through sponsorship. Find out MoreBack to Latest News