5th Dec, 2016

Sick Acocks Green teen arrives at prom in style

Solihull Editorial 23rd Jul, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

SIRENS SOUNDED as a teenager with a rare life-limiting condition arrived at his school prom in the back of an ambulance.

Sultan Ali swapped a traditional stretch limousine for a St John Ambulance after telling the team caring for him at Birmingham Children’s Hospital it would be ‘pretty cool’ if he could arrive at his prom in an ambulance.

The 16-year-old suffers from Morquio Syndrome, a life limiting condition that causes progressive impairment throughout the body, including the heart, bones, respiratory and central nervous system.

The rare disease has affected Sultan’s growth and means his joints are overly flexible and unstable, making it harder for him to complete everyday activities independently.

Having mentioned his dream of arriving at his prom in an ambulance to staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Sian Phillips, a dedicated occupation therapist who specialises in making therapy fun and recovery focused, got in touch with St John Ambulance to see if they could help make Sultan’s prom night wish come true.


The 16-year-old, who suffers from a life limiting condition that causes progressive impairment throughout the body, arrived in style. s

Ms Phillips said: “It’s been a joy for myself and our rehabilitation team working with Sultan ever since he arrived at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

“He’s remained so motivated and positive throughout his daily therapy sessions, which are aiming to maintain and improve his independence.

“He’s been doing all this, whilst completing his GCSEs here at the hospital’s school, which for any young person can be a more than challenging time.

“Sultan is a true inspiration to us all – always has a smile on his face and ready for a chat.

“He said that his rehab goal was to attend his school leaving prom, just like his friends. We’re all thrilled he’s been able to achieve it.”

Last Thursday evening, a St John Ambulance collected Sultan from Birmingham Children’s Hospital and took him to the Westley Hotel in Acocks Green, where he joined his classmates from Hall Green Secondary School for their leavers’ ball.

Thanking the staff who made his dream a reality, Sultan said: “It was every bit as good as I imagined it would be – it was epic.”

One of the volunteers behind the wheel of the ambulance that night, Jon Mannion, explained the community ‘roots’ of St John Ambulance meant staff were always on hand to go the extra mile.

He added: “When Sian got in touch with us about Sultan’s request, we really wanted to help.

“So Neil Hadley and I volunteered to drive the ambulance for the evening and hope we will make it a really special and unforgettable evening for Sultan.”