Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, has brought new hope and a smile to the face of a terminally ill teenager in Malaysia.
Zakwan Anuar, who is suffering from acute leukaemia, postponed an urgently needed blood transfusion for 24 hours so he could meet the Duchess.
Zakwan’s mother, Norizan Sulong, said he had “almost given up hope”, but quickly became “more animated than he has been for a long time” when he saw the Duchess.
“Zakwan is normally very sleepy and in pain, crying, almost giving up hope, but today, my God, it was as if the leukaemia had gone,” Norizan said.
“He is in more pain because he put off his blood transfusion and he needed a lot of painkillers, but I don’t see the need for that now. God bless her. I cannot repay that kindness.”
The visit brought a rare smile to the face of the 15-year-old, who chatted with Kate for about 15 minutes and told her she was “very pretty”.
The Duchess asked Zakwan about his treatment and told him, “You must be very, very brave. Are you in pain? You’re a brave boy. Thank you so much for coming to see me.”
Kate also told him he was “very handsome” and signed a card for his birthday, which he celebrated two days ago.
The Duchess, joined by her husband Prince William, met Zakwan while visiting Kuala Lumpur’s Hospis Malaysia, the country’s largest facility for the care of terminally ill patients. She had specifically asked to visit the hospital during their Asia Pacific tour.
She also chose to give her first official speech abroad there and spoke about how the lives of patients and their families “can be transformed” through effective palliative care.
Related video: Kate's first speech abroad.