Children too ill to celebrate Eid in the UAE get heart-warming surprise by connecting with former patients

Friends and Family having fun at GOSH Eid party at Aseelah Restaurant, Dubai
Friends and Family having fun at GOSH Eid party at Aseelah Restaurant, Dubai

Dubai, UAE: Emirati children, who are currently being treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London, had a heart-warming surprise when they were connected to former GOSH patients from Dubai via video link technology.

As a first for this year, children from across the Emirate, who are receiving specialised treatment at GOSH, were surprised to find that a group of former GOSH patients had come together to host and replicate their own Eid al-Fitr party in Dubai. The two parties in London and Dubai were connected through video link technology so patients could share words of encouragement to one and other despite being 3,400 miles apart.

GOSH treats sick children from over 90 different countries for rare, complex and multiple conditions, which includes 1,500 children from the Middle East every year. Through their special events and celebrations, GOSH caters to a variety of different cultures and religions at the hospital.  Every year, GOSH hosts an Eid-al-Fitr party for all their patients as part of their commitment to embracing and celebrating all cultures and religions at the hospital.

During the video link, patients, family members and ex-GOSH patients shared what they are most thankful for this year, and shared their own touching messages to one and other. Afterwards, they enjoyed a wide-array of authentic Arabic cuisine and evening entertainment. The event closed with both parties linked up so they could hear prayers, as well as a local London school choir, together.

From the party in Dubai, local father, Zafar Khan, expressed how it was great to have the opportunity to share these moments together and re-connect his daughter with the hospital. “It was really important for us to come to this event because of the live video broadcast. I wanted to show my daughter, Inaaya, what’s now happening at the London hospital so she could remember and recognise the place as it has only been a few months since she was being treated there.  It’s been a great opportunity as it’s not easy to re-visit the hospital every time so it was great to connect by video link. I hope these events will continue every year.”

Maha Essid, a mother from the UAE, also added how the video link reminded her of the care and compassion she received when her young son was treated at the hospital. “Having the video broadcast with the hospital allowed us to have a link again with GOSH and really made me miss the team there. It reminded me of our time spent in London and the care, understanding and hospitality which we received from all the doctors, nurses and interpreters.”

Commenting on the importance of this event for their international patients Trevor Clarke, Director of the International and Private Patients Service at GOSH said, “At GOSH, we consider all our patients, past and present, as part of the GOSH family. Every day, we strive to ensure all our patients, from all cultures and all religions, feel at home and part of this family when they are being treated in London. This year, the added video link dimension to our annual Eid al-Fitr party has enabled patients to connect with former GOSH patients in the UAE with the hope of making them feel even more at home during their stay at GOSH.”

About Great Ormond Street Hospital:

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London is recognised as one of the few truly world-class hospitals for children. As a global leader, GOSH has top clinical and research experts working every day to find new and better ways to treat children. While breakthroughs and medical expertise are essential to the treatment of patients, GOSH also places great emphasis on the support and care provided for children by nurturing an open and supportive atmosphere, ensuring that parents and patients are well informed and closely involved in the treatment process. Children receive the highest standards of care and attention from the expert team of medical and support staff during their stay at GOSH, and are always treated with respect, trust, concern and openness.

The International and Private Patients Service at GOSH treats over 5,000 children from over 90 different countries each year. The service is tailored to the referral and treatment of international patients and our dedicated, multi-lingual team ensure a smooth and efficient patient experience.