Manchester paediatric doctor writes son series of books before dying from brain cancer

Aria And his family
Aria was able to leave something very special behind so his son would would understand what happened after he passed away. Credit: Family Photo

A doctor who died from a rare brain tumour has left his final legacy in the form of books he wrote for his three-year-old son.

Aria Nikjooy, from Manchester, was just 27 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2018 after enduring terrible headaches.

The paediatric doctor had the tumour removed, but it returned several times before spreading to his spine.

Since Aria's death, his wife Naomi has been reading his book to Eliyas, she said it's been helping him understand what has happened. Credit: Family Photo

He died on the 8 February, at aged 30, leaving behind his GP wife Naomi and three-year-old son Eliyas.

While undergoing chemotherapy in 2019 he was encouraged to start writing as a way of recovering.

Aria loved it so much that he carried on and wrote a book called Eddie and the Magic Healing Stone to explain illness in parents to his son, Eliyas.

The book was published last September and Aria was able to read it aloud to Eliyas.

  • Granada Reports reporter Tasha Kacheri met Aria in November 2020:

Aria met his wife Naomi in 2012 at the University of Birmingham, where they both studied medicine, the pair married in 2016.

Naomi said: "We were in the waiting room for one of his appointments when Aria told me he had started to write a book for Eliyas, and that he wanted to read it to him to explain about parents getting poorly.

"Aria knew that one day we would have to explain cancer to Eliyas and this would make it a lot easier."

Through all Aria's treatments and and procedures the young father kept writing.

He has another children's book coming soon called Eddie and the Last Dodo on Earth, about the importance of family.

Naomi said: "He was in the worst state he could possibly be in, but he was still motivated to write books for our son.

"When I read his second children’s book, I cried - it was so beautiful.

"It will be emotional reading it to Eliyas without Aria here, but I’ll be doing it for him."

Aria and Naomi got married in 2016 Credit: Family Photo

Since his death, Naomi has been reading the book to Eliyas, she says it has been a huge support in helping him understand what has happened.

Now she is organising the publication of Aria's memoir Broken Brain: Brutally Honest, Brutally Me, aimed at adults, which she hopes will give strength to others affected by cancer.

Eliyas does not know that the second book exists; it will be one final surprise from his dad when it comes out soon. And this time, Naomi will be the one to read him the story.

Aria wanted to help parents to explain illnesses like his to their children. Credit: Family Photo

Naomi said: "After losing my husband, having this positive focus on Aria's books has helped keep me going. If I know I'm getting Aria's words out there, I'm happy."

Proceeds from all of Aria’s children's books will be going to four organisations that supported him and his family – Brain Tumour Research, the Royal Medical Foundation, the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund and the Society For Assistance Of Medical Families.

To find out more about Aria and his books click here.