The father of brain tumour patient Ashya King has said that his five-year-old son was so happy to see them in their emotional reunion that the boy struggled to get his breath.
Ashya saw his parents for the first time in three days yesterday, after they were arrested for taking their son from a hospital in Britain to one in Spain without the permission of doctors.
“He couldn't breathe he was so happy,” Brett King said. “He was so pleased to see us. We're trying to be hopeful."
He added: “He's not in such a good state as when we left him.”
Mr King and his wife Naghmeh were released from Soto del Real prison late on Tuesday night after the British authorities dropped its investigation and any attempts to extradite them home.
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
A European arrest warrant had been issued after the family fled to mainland Europe in the hope of receiving specialist proton beam therapy, which had been denied in the UK, after experts felt that the treatment was not suitable. They were arrested on Saturday.
Speaking outside the Materno-Infantil Hospital in Malaga last night, Mr King said they would be meeting with a cancer specialist today.
Officials at the hospital confirmed that they had been notified not to allow the boy’s removal, following the child being made a ward of court by Portsmouth Council.
Parental responsibility for the child was transferred to the state on Friday, though this doesn’t prohibit family visits. A review of this status is expected to be conducted by the High Court in coming days.
Yesterday, Mr King complained that doctors in the UK were going to turn his son "into a vegetable", and he has since tried to elaborate his position in terms of how and when he took the child from Southampton General Hospital a week ago.
The Trust claims that Ashya’s parents did not notify them of their intentions to remove the boy and that they did so “during unsupervised leave”.
“I couldn't actually tell them because they had threatened me previously,” Mr King claimed.
“When I just asked 'What is cancer? How did my son get it? Is there any alternatives?', straight away they said if I ask any more questions the right for me to make a decision would be taken away from me because they get an immediate court paper to say that they have right over my child.
“They could have stopped my son getting any treatment and just forcing this very strong treatment on him.”
The hospital disagrees with this statement.
Dr Peter Wilson, Chief Paediatrician at Southampton General Hospital, told Sky News: “We had made it very clear what could be offered on the NHS.
“While we were having those discussions, the family made it very clear they would like to go to Prague. At no stage did they say they were going to take Ashya and go to Prague."
When asked if the hospital had threatened Ashya’s parents with court papers he said: “Absolutely not. We absolutely disagree with that statement.”
The couple still hopes to send Ashya to Prague, in the Czech Republic, for proton beam therapy after private donors pledged tens of thousands of pounds.
The Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) said it believed the treatment was suitable and that it has received Ashya’s medical papers, but that the boy would need to travel back to the UK first for two cycles of chemotherapy.