Zakwan Anuar, who has acute leukaemia, had “almost given up hope”, according to his mother, spending his days sleeping and crying with pain.
But when he caught sight of the Duchess, his face lit up with the sort of smile his mother feared she might never see again.
The 15-year-old was so determined to meet Kate that he postponed a badly-needed blood transfusion for 24 hours and put himself through extra pain so he would not miss her visit.
Zakwan, who celebrated his birthday two days ago, summoned the strength to chat to the Duchess for around 15 minutes, telling her she was “very pretty” as she signed a birthday card for him and told him he was “very, very brave” and “very handsome”.
With tears filling her eyes, his mother, Norizan Sulong, said: “It was as if the leukaemia had gone.”
Prince William and Kate were visiting Hospis Malaysia. She described the hospice as “a very special place” and was “thrilled” that Hospis Malaysia had already been in discussions with each to find out what each charity could learn from the other’s experience.