FINAL plans were being made yesterday for five-year-old cancer patient Ashya King to be taken to a clinic in the Czech Republic to receive treatment for a brain tumour not available in England, after a High Court judge approved his parents’ request to do so.
The hospital where he is being treated in Malaga, Spain, said that Ashya was in a stable condition, and that a flight to Prague would not pose a problem to his health, it was reported.
Southern Malaga’s Children’s and Maternity Hospital said its medical directors were due to meet yesterday to review preparations, it was claimed. The hospital said that a special aircraft would pick Ashya up.
Brett and Naghmeh King, who hit the headlines after taking their five-year-old son from Southampton General Hospital without the permission of doctors, had their treatment plan for Ashya approved yesterday after a telephone call between their lawyers, the hospital’s legal representatives and a judge.
The Proton Therapy Centre in Prague has said it has arranged a private medical jet, fitted with appropriate medical equipment, to transport the child from Spain.
The clinic has told the BBC it expects the earliest the young boy will arrive tomorrow.
The Kings were arrested and held in custody after British police raised the alarm when they took their son from hospital on 28 August. They were released when prosecutors withdrew an arrest warrant in the wake of a public outcry. Portsmouth City Council, which has responsibility for Ashya’s welfare, launched family court litigation – asking for directions about the youngster’s treatment.
Mr Justice Baker began analysing issues surrounding Ashya’s treatment at a hearing in the family division of the High Court on Tuesday. The judge was told that the Kings wanted their son to receive proton beam therapy.
The judge said in his order, released yesterday, that Ashya could be taken to the Czech Republic. He said he had been told that specialists there had considered a treatment plan.
A spokesman for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has said: “[This] judgment will allow Ashya to get the treatment he urgently needs without any further delays.
“Throughout the period that we cared for Ashya and over the last few days, our only interest has been his health, medical treatment and welfare.
“We will continue to support any clinicians involved in his future care with advice and information.”