Ahmed Mahmoud, a thirteen-year-old boy, has travelled alone from his hometown in Egypt to seek medical treatment for his little brother who suffers from the blood disorder thrombocytopenia.
Ahmed’s journey started on board the boat of a people smuggler in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria.
He eventually arrived in the Italian city of Florence carrying medical documents describing his brother’s medical condition.
The quality and availability of healthcare in Egypt has been described as patchy.
When he arrived in Italy, the young boy told a police officer on the Italian island of Lampedusa that he wanted his younger brother to survive.
The officer, Maria Volpe, explained why she took Ahmed from Lampedusa to Porto Empedocle.
“To see a 13-year-old boy who risks his life, crossed the sea and comes in Italy only to ask for help to save his brother is a new story, among so many human cases. He said: ‘I`m here because I want to help, I want to save him and continue to play with him.”
The Italian government have decided to admit Ahmed’s family and treat his brother at no cost to them.
Authorities in Egypt meanwhile have urged the family to seek treatment there.