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Former boxer Michael Watson visits East Ham man who has rare kidney disorder

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 January 2020

Murad Shaikh with former boxer Michael Watson. Picture: Gowhar Shaikh

Murad Shaikh with former boxer Michael Watson. Picture: Gowhar Shaikh

Gowhar Shaikh

A young man who was given just two days to live when he was born received a special visit from former boxer Michael Watson.

Murad Shaikh with former boxer Michael Watson. Picture: Gowhar ShaikhMurad Shaikh with former boxer Michael Watson. Picture: Gowhar Shaikh

Murad Shaikh, 21, had a chat with the ex-Commonwealth champion, who also brought along his belts to show.

Watson's career ended after suffering a brain injury in a 1991 world title fight against Chris Eubank, which left him partially disabled.

"We had a great time and watched his documentary on TV," Murad's mum Gowhar said.

"He came along with his three WBC champion belts made of gold - which were so heavy.

The family fun run will see participants dress up as Wally. Picture: Chris O'DonovanThe family fun run will see participants dress up as Wally. Picture: Chris O'Donovan

"Then Murad sang some songs and Michael was clapping and dancing too.

"He reminded Murad of the importance of drinking water to clear toxins and to do his best in having his three litres of water target a day."

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Murad, from East Ham, was diagnosed with a rare kidney and blood disorder, Fanconi anaemia, shortly after he was born.

Since then, he has had 50 operations, including a kidney transplant when he was 11. However, he is in need of another transplant because of the age of the kidney, which was donated by a 45-year-old.

"He loves singing, fundraising, and making people smile," Gowhar said of her son.

"Murad helps to organise the Eid Party at Richard House Children's Hospice every year and we are so thankful to the local restaurants that donate food for free on this special day for the families."

The family have been supported by the Beckton hospice, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, throughout Murad's childhood.

Murad is also an ambassador for Dream Factory, a charity that aims to grant wishes for children and young adults with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions, or who have severe disabilities.

He was able to share his love of singing with guests at the charity's Christmas party, performing in front of famous faces including ex-boxer Colin McMillan and EastEnders actor Shona McGarty.

The former Langdon School pupil has also previously been on stage with his favourite singer Abrar ul Haq, who Gowhar said still keeps in touch with Murad.


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