UK tumour boy heads for treatment in Prague

2014-09-08 12:15
Ashya King. (File AFP)

Ashya King. (File AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Madrid - Ashya King, the five-year-old cancer patient whose parents triggered an international hunt when they took him from Britain to seek alternative care, left a Spanish hospital on Monday headed for treatment in Prague.

An ambulance carrying Ashya pulled out of a hospital in Malaga around 06:15 GMT and headed to the airport, from where he is expected to fly to the capital of the Czech Republic.

The doe-eyed boy has been in the middle of a week-long legal saga that began when his desperate parents took him out of a British hospital against medical advice, triggering a cross-border manhunt that saw them briefly jailed in Spain.

The case dominated British news, with public opinion shifting from outrage to sympathy as it became clear parents Brett King, 51, and his wife Neghemeh King, 45, had taken their son abroad to avoid treatment they believed would turn him into a "vegetable".

Traditional radiotherapy

The parents spent four days in a Spanish jail and although they were released after British prosecutors dropped their case, they could not move him from a hospital in Spain until his status as a ward of court, imposed after they were imprisoned, was lifted.

Ashya, who has a brain tumour, is now headed to a Czech centre specialising in proton beam therapy, the treatment his parents sought for him but that was unavailable to them in Britain.

The Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague said on Saturday its experts would fast-track their procedures for the young patient.

Proton beam therapy, which is more precise than traditional radiotherapy, allows doctors to deliver higher doses of energy to a tumour while better sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

According to the PTC, the procedure costs about 1.8 million kroner ( $84 000) in the Czech Republic, compared with €108 000 in the United States.

Alternative therapy

The Kings have said they will sell an apartment in Malaga to fund Ashya's treatment.

Ashya recently underwent brain tumour surgery in Southampton, in southern England, but his parents took him from the hospital there after disagreeing with his treatment.

The lead paediatrician at Southampton hospital did not believe that the alternative therapy would help rid the boy of his medallublastoma cancer.

The Kings' legal troubles prompted an outpouring of public support in Britain, where tens of thousands of people signed a petition calling for the boy to be reunited with his parents.

The case even gained the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron, who upon learning that the case against the Kings had been dropped, tweeted: "It's important this little boy gets treatment and the love of his family."

Read more on:    ashya king

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.