Ashya King – who was at the centre of an international manhunt after his parents removed him from a UK hospital without consent – has been given the all clear from cancer.
His life was saved in a “miracle” recovery because he was given treatment in the Czech Republic that was not available for him in Britain on the NHS, his parents have claimed.
His mother Naghmeh, who alongside her husband Brett took five-year-old Ashya away from a Southampton hospital last summer, described the news as incredible.
In pictures: Ashya King's case
In pictures: Ashya King's case
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Brett King, back left, and Naghemeh King, right, accompany their son Ashya King (5) center, as he arrives for pre-cancer treatment examinations at the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic
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Ashya King (5) arrives for pre-cancer treatment examinations at the Motol hospital in Prague, Czech Republic
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Brett King, father of five year old Ashya King, talks to members of the press after holding a press conference at his lawyer's office in Seville, Spain
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Brett and Naghemeh King, parents of Ashya King, attend a press conference in Sevilla, Spain. The British parents are heading to see him at a hospital in southern Spain following release their from custody after United Kingdom authorities dropped accusations of child cruelty against them
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British couple Brett (L) and Naghemeh (2L) King leave Soto del Real Prision in Soto del Real, near Madrid, Spain
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Brett King leaving Soto del Real prison near Madrid, Spain after British authorities dropped the case against him and his wife for taking their son Ashya from Southampton General Hospital without the consent of doctors
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Naghemeh King leaves Soto del Real Prision in Soto del Real, near Madrid, Spain
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Ashya King in hospital with his mother
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Journalist work outside the Materno Infantil Hospital where Ashya King is hospitalized in Malaga, Spain
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Ethan Dallas and Sanjay Ganatra, friends of the family, deliver a petition of over 100,000 names calling for his parents' release from a Spanish jail
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Spanish judge Ismael Moreno arrives to the National Courts to take statement to the parents of Britain's five-year-old boy Ashya King, in Madrid, Spain
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Ashya King parents's lawyer, Juan Isidro Fernandez Diaz, arrives at the National court in Madrid
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
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Spanish policemen stand guard as a police van carrying the parents of Ashya King arrives at the courthouse in Madrid
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images
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Ashya King’s parents after their court appearance
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Ashya King's father explained why he took his son to Spain in a video uploaded to YouTube
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This photo of Ashya King being examined by doctors in hospital was posted on Facebook by his brother, Naveed
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Ashya King and his brother Naveed
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Ashya King on a hospital bed
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A CCTV still issued by Hampshire Police of Ashya King with his father Brett King at around 4pm yesterday
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The exterior of Southampton General Hospital where Ashya King, who has a brain tumour was taken by his parents from the hospital without the blessing of doctors
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Hampshire Constabulary said there are 'serious concerns' for the life of Ashya King as he needs constant medical care. Officers said his parents - Brett, 51, and Naghemeh, 45, - boarded a cross-Channel ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg at 4pm yesterday with Ashya's six siblings
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Ashya King, who has a brain tumour and was taken by his parents from hospital without the blessing of doctors
“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,” Naghmeh told The Sun.
The boy was finally allowed to undergo a 30-session treatment at the Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague for brain cancer after a long legal battle fought by his parents.
His father 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”. They would do the same thing again if they felt they had to, he added, after they were arrested in Spain and spent several nights in prison.
A High Court judge approved the move to take Ashya to Prague for proton therapy, which the PTC said is more effective than the radiotherapy that he was being offered on the NHS to treat the medulloblastoma.
PTC limits the collateral damage of radiation to other vital organs. This would lead to less severe long-term side-effects including heart and breathing problems.
The therapy was not available for him on the NHS, although the health service later agreed to fund Ashya’s treatment.
The NHS is building two proton beam centres, one in London and one in Manchester, which are expected to open in 2018, and funds the treatment abroad in some cases.
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.
The Sun quoted a report from the PTC which stated that the oncology department “could speculate that Proton Therapy received could be sufficient to sterilise sites of possible future relapses of the tumour and chemotherapy could deteriorate the quality of life of Ashya”.Reuse content