Parents of Ashya King say he has made ‘miracle’ cancer recovery

Family, who sparked manhunt by taking boy to Spain from UK hospital, say actions justified


The parents of a five-year-old British boy, who were jailed when they took him abroad for brain cancer treatment, have declared their son has made a “miracle” recovery.

They said Ashya King’s life was saved because he was given innovative proton therapy treatment not available for him on the NHS.

The Proton Therapy Centre in Prague, where he received the treatment last year, said it was “thrilled” to hear news that a recent scan showed no sign of a tumour.

Ashya’s mother Naghmeh, who alongside her husband Brett sparked an international manhunt last summer by removing the little boy from hospital in Southampton without medical consent, told the Sun the news was “incredible”.

“If we had left Ashya with the NHS in Britain, he would not be with us today. He was too weak and would not have survived,” she told the newspaper.

Ashya was allowed to undergo treatment at the centre for brain cancer after a long legal battle fought by his parents. He has since been recovering in Spain.

Jana Kulhankova, marketing director at the centre, said she had not seen the latest scan but has been in regular contract with Ashya’s doctor, Hernan Cortes-Funes, since his treatment ended.

“Ashya’s doctor told me last week that Ashya is doing so well that he is able to release him for rehabilitation,” she said.

“If the scans are showing that Ashya is cancer-free, as Mr King says, then we are thrilled, that is what we have worked for.”

Ashya’s father Brett said his son’s condition now justifies their actions in taking him from Southampton General Hospital last August to Spain, where they have a holiday home.

He said: “We have saved his life”, adding that they would do the same thing again if they felt they had to.

The Kings were arrested in Spain after fleeing the UK and spent several nights in prison away from their son, before being released .

A High Court judge approved the move to take Ashya to Prague for proton therapy, which the centre said was more effective than the radiotherapy Ashya was being offered on the NHS.

They says it limits the collateral damage of radiation to other vital organs, such as the heart and liver in Ashya’s case. This would lead to less severe long-term side-effects including heart and breathing problems.

The centre said it has helped dozens of children to recover from cancer.

The therapy was not available for him on the NHS, although the health service later agreed to fund Ashya’s treatment.

The family, who have previously spoken of their apprehension over returning to the UK for fear social services would get involved, are staying in Marbella where Ashya will continue his recovery.