Abu Dhabi

Cancer, stroke survivor sings opera for frontliners in Abu Dhabi

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 17, 2020 | Last updated on October 17, 2020 at 09.01 pm
Cancer survivor, stroke survivor, Opera singer Louise Ryan, healthcare workers, hospital, Abu Dhabi,

(Supplied photos)

The closed-door musical event was organised to spread awareness on breast cancer. It was streamed live on the hospital's social media platforms.

Opera singer Louise Ryan - a breast cancer and a stroke survivor - along with the NSO String Quartet performed for patients and frontline healthcare workers at a hospital in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Louise, accompanied by the string players Eva Grasbeck, Natalia Vaskinova, Crosby Berrett and Rumyana Gavadinova, filled the air of Burjeel Medical City in Mohammed Bin Zayed City with compositions of Mozart, Oscar Hammerstein, Harold Arlen, Giacomo Puccini, Jacques Offenbach and more.

The closed-door musical event was organised to spread awareness on breast cancer. It was streamed live on the hospital's social media platforms. Seating for medical staff and patients was arranged on four floors of the hospital, and the performance streamed on TV screens in the rooms of bed-ridden patients.

After entertaining the patients and staff for an hour, British expat Louise inspired everyone with her story of battling the disease in 2003 and a stroke in 2018 to bounce back to life because of early detection and treatment.

In her speech titled 'Climb every mountain', she recalled how while working out in a gym she felt a severe pain in her neck and head, and lost control of her body. Abu Dhabi resident rushed to a hospital and was diagnosed with subarachnoid haemorrhage - a rare but life-threatening stroke. "I was in the ICU and hospital for about a month. I am here today because of that early treatment," she said.

Talking about surviving breast cancer, Louise stressed: "We should be all aware of any changes within our breasts. We should do checks and notice any anomalies or anything going wrong."

Louise detected symptoms of breast cancer and immediately sought treatment. "I had an early diagnosis and received the right treatment at the right time. If you have concerns, see the experts, take mammograms when they are offered or if they are not, ask for it. Make sure you are getting the treatment and seeing the right people," she said and added the performance is also a tribute to frontline healthcare workers.

Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, director of medical oncology, Burjeel Medical City, said: "The idea of the programme is to create awareness about breast cancer and spread hope among people fighting the disease all over the world."



Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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