Thursday 21 November 2019

Boy (5) in brain tumour dispute is now free of cancer, claim parents

Ashya with his mother Naghemeh King. The parents of five-year-old English boy Ashya King, who were detained after taking him abroad for brain tumour treatment, say their son is now free of cancer
Ashya with his mother Naghemeh King. The parents of five-year-old English boy Ashya King, who were detained after taking him abroad for brain tumour treatment, say their son is now free of cancer
Ashya King, five, was treated for a brain tumour at a medical centre in Prague last year after his parents disagreed with doctors about his treatment and decided to seek proton beam treatment abroad
Five-year-old Ashya King waves as he leaves a hospital after his last proton therapy treatment October, 2014 in Prague

Dean Gray

The parents of five-year-old English boy Ashya King, who were detained after taking him abroad for brain tumour treatment, say their son is now free of cancer.

Brett and Naghemeh King were held in prison in Madrid last summer after taking their son from hospital in Southampton against medical advice.

They took him to receive treatment in Prague that was unavailable in Britain.

Mr King has told a British newspaper a recent scan showed "no evidence" of the tumour.

Mr and Mrs King took Ashya out of Southampton General Hospital last August, after disagreeing with doctors about his treatment and deciding to seek proton beam treatment abroad. They took him to Spain, but were arrested at the request of the British authorities and held in Madrid's Soto Del Real prison.

The couple were kept in the jail for more than 24 hours before being released when efforts to extradite them to the UK were abandoned, with prosecutors saying they were happy any risk to Ashya's life "was not as great or immediate as... originally thought".

Ashya had been diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour, which was successfully removed by surgeons in Southampton on July 24. He then had a further operation on his brain on August 22.

As a result of these procedures, he was unable to speak, unable to eat or drink on his own and relied on a food pump. In order to help prevent a return of the tumour, his parents wanted him to be given proton beam therapy - a treatment the NHS does not provide in the UK, although it does refer patients to other countries for treatment.

Proton therapy uses a form of radiation that targets cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue virtually untouched. University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust had said Ashya's chances of recovery with regular treatment were "very good" and there would be "no benefit to him of proton radiotherapy over standard radiotherapy".

Dr Pete Wilson, chief paediatrician at the hospital, told the BBC at the time: "Refusing treatment for a child is exceptionally serious."

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News