Five-year-old boy with brain cancer given World Cup ceremony by NHS staff - and a message from Harry Kane

Ben Williams, unable to walk and talk before starting treatment, described as 'an inspiration' by England star Harry Kane

Tom Batchelor
Friday 06 July 2018 15:37
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Five-year-old Ben has World Cup celebration after completing radiotherapy

A five-year-old boy undergoing treatment for brain cancer was given a World Cup trophy for bravery by NHS staff, after completing a six-week course of radiotherapy.

Ben Williams, who was unable to walk and talk before starting treatment, was given his own football-themed ceremony by doctors and nurses in the radiology department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

In a video watched hundreds of thousands of times, Ben is shown walking into the radiology room surrounded by family and staff wrapped in England flags.

The youngster is given a replica World Cup trophy and a certificate to acknowledge how “amazingly brave” he had been - with his hero, England star Harry Kane, calling him "an inspiration".

Following his treatment, Ben – who is the nephew of The Independent's news editor, Richard Williams – has regained almost full mobility and has begun talking again.

Sam Williams, Ben’s father, said: "Six weeks ago, Ben couldn't talk or walk but we've essentially seen our little boy come back to us in the last few weeks.

"For all that the many amazing people have done for him across the NHS, we will never be able to express how thankful we are. They had already been absolutely wonderful, but what the staff in the radiology department did for him on his last day of treatment was just so special.

"We hear a lot about how the NHS is broken, but our experience of it has suggested the opposite. While an organisation of its size will always have problems, what we've seen is lots of dedicated and truly brilliant people, all doing a wonderful job."

On the ceremony arranged for Ben by staff at the hospital, he said: "They had already done more for Ben than we could ask for, so this was just such a kind and thoughtful gesture. As you can see from his face, he was just delighted with it.

"We got him an England kit a few weeks ago and he's pretty much refused to take it off since. We've resorted to washing it overnight while he's been in bed.

"He really liked football before he got ill and has suddenly gone England crazy in the last couple of weeks, so much so that 'England' and 'Harry Kane' are some of the first words he learned to say again as his speech came back."

Liam Herbert, a specialist paediatric radiographer at the Queen Elizabeth, who shared the video, appealed to the England team to provide their own congratulations for the youngster after finishing his treatment.

“Ben has just completed his radiotherapy for a brain tumour, he was unable to walk and talk before his treatment but a week ago he asked for the World Cup, so we delivered,” Mr Herbert tweeted.

“@England and @HKane can you do the same?”

The video prompted an outpouring of support from the public, with many saying the video had reduced them to tears.

England captain Harry Kane tweeted: "Hi Ben, I've seen your video and you are an inspiration. Carry on fighting and we'll do everything we can on Saturday to keep a smile on your face!"

Twitter user Darren Richardson wrote: "Unbelievable keep up the great work you are doing for all these very Brave and courageous kids."

Another, Michael Cutler said: "Brought tears to my eyes watching that what a lovely little man all the best with his recovery."

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