Ashya King at centre of legal treatment battle

ASHYA King will today make his first visit to the Czech clinic where he is expected to receive the treatment that prompted the legal wrangle over his care.

Ashya arrives with his mother Naghemeh at the Motol hospital in Prague. Right: he is carried in on a stretcher having left the Madrid hospital in an ambulance. Main picture: Reuters
Ashya arrives with his mother Naghemeh at the Motol hospital in Prague. Right: he is carried in on a stretcher having left the Madrid hospital in an ambulance. Main picture: Reuters

The five-year-old brain tumour patient has been flown to Prague after leaving the Materno Infantil hospital in Malaga in Spain, where he was being treated after his parents were arrested more than a week ago.

He was admitted to University Hospital Motol in the Czech capital, while his father Brett King was visiting the Proton Therapy Centre Czech (PTC) to discuss the boy’s potential treatment.

The Proton Therapy Centre said: “Little Ashya is coming to PTC on 9 September at 8am for the first consultation and examination.”

Ashya was seen being wheeled into the Motol hospital by medics yesterday while his mother Naghmeh stood close by.

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The Kings triggered an international police pursuit when they removed Ashya from Southampton General Hospital on 28 August.

They were desperate for him to be given the proton therapy, which was not available to them on the NHS.

Speaking after arriving in the Czech Republic, Ashya’s father said they were “just so happy to be here”. He said: “This is what we wanted from the beginning. Things went from bad to worse at one stage.

“We just want the best for Ashya. He’s got to get through this, he’s got to get better.”

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Mr King said his son was “a little bit depressed” when they were first reunited. “He’s building up his strength now. We are sure he can see us and he can definitely hear us. I am sure they are going to give him the best treatment. We just hope for the best for him.”

The Proton Therapy Centre arranged for a private jet fitted with medical equipment to transport the young patient from Spain.

In a statement yesterday the clinic said: “In late afternoon today, Proton Therapy Centre Czech is expecting a visit by Mr Brett King, Ashya’s father.

“Mr King will be shown the facility, he will be introduced to the process of treatment and to a team of the attending physicians and physicists.”

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Ashya will undergo tests ahead of the possible proton treatment next week, according to reports. It is expected to last for around five weeks, with Ashya staying at Motol hospital and travelling to the PTC each day.

The High Court judge who approved Ashya’s transfer to Prague made no criticism of anyone involved in the saga. Mr Justice Baker said there had been reason to believe that Ashya was at risk when his parents took him from the hospital in Southampton.

He said social workers had been justified in asking the High Court to take responsibility for the youngster. And he said any parents in Mr and Mrs King’s position would have wanted to explore all options.

“The local authority acted correctly in applying to the High Court,” said Mr Justice Baker. “There were reasonable grounds for believing that Ashya was at risk of significant harm.

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“A week later the picture had changed that the court was faced with a completely different decision.”

Mr Justice Baker was speaking as he outlined his reasons for allowing Ashya to travel to Prague at a hearing in London..

He said he “made no comment” about the decision to issue an European arrest warrant – a move which led to Mr and Mrs King being held in custody in Spain and separated from their son.

He said he “merely observed” that “whatever the rights and wrongs”, it had not been in Ashya’s interests to be separated from his parents.

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The judge said he hoped Ashya made a good recovery and sent his best wishes to his “loving parents”.

He said Asyha’s arrival in Prague meant he was no longer a ward of the English High Court.