Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

UAE children at Great Ormond Street Hospital given superhero makeover

A Dubai-based initiative gave nine children at the London hospital the chance to become their superhero alter-egos

Children at Great Ormond Street Hospital were transformed into their superhero alter-egos. Photo Ian Derry
Children at Great Ormond Street Hospital were transformed into their superhero alter-egos. Photo Ian Derry

Children from the GCC receiving treatment at the world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) have been given a superhero makeover, thanks to a Dubai-based initiative.

Nine children, including two Emiratis and one Kuwaiti, at the London-based hospital were transformed into their superhero alter-egos with the help of a creative team made up of a comic book artist, children’s costume designers, a celebrity photographer, make-up artist as well as a production and special effects studio.

UAE-initiative Superhope teamed up with GOSH to give children receiving treatment for haematology and oncology conditions a boost to their mental health.

The children took part in a professional photo and CGI trailer shoot, which was presented to their families at a special event to launch a documentary film about their experience.

Noora from the UAE was transformed into Cloud Princess, while fellow Emirati patient Ahmed became Super A, dressed in a red and black costume complete with a matching cape.

"Ahmed is a real hero for all the treatment that he has had to go through,” his father said. “We are happy that he had the chance to experience something like this during his treatment journey; it means a lot to our family. Super A will always be a part of him."

Ahmed aka Super A. Photo Ian Derry
Ahmed aka Super A. Photo Ian Derry

Doctors at GOSH have credited the superhero alter-egos with improving the children’s experience in hospital and promoting a positive mental attitude.

“Superhope has given these amazing children the perfect opportunity to forget about their struggles and take their minds off being in a hospital,” Dr Giuseppe Barone, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at GOSH, said.

This is the second time that Superhope has worked with GOSH, which treats 1,500 children from the Middle East every year. In 2018, the initiative worked with six children, including one Emirati patient.

Noora aka Cloud Princess. Photo Ian Derry
Noora aka Cloud Princess. Photo Ian Derry

Superhope’s creators Tarik Batal and Basma Masri launched the scheme in Dubai in 2014 and have taken it to hospitals around the world.

“The wonderful thing about this campaign is that it goes beyond nationality or condition and instead focuses on helping children from all corners of the globe to help them find strength during a traumatic time in their lives,” said Ms Masri and Mr Batal.

“Seeing the children’s reactions once they put on their super-suits was an amazing moment. For everyone involved, it was truly satisfying knowing that we were able to make that happen.”

Updated: March 1, 2020 08:04 PM

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