Ashya King: Missing five-year-old boy with brain tumour found with his family in Spain
Father appears on YouTube asking authorities to call off 'ridiculous chase', and for his family 'to be left in peace'
Sunday 31 August 2014
A seriously ill five-year-old boy taken from a hospital in Hampshire against doctors' instructions has been found in Spain with his parents, who said they were just trying to find him the best treatment possible.
Police had issued an EU arrest warrant for the parents of Ashya King, who has a brain tumour and requires intensive medical care, after he was taken from Southampton General Hospital on Thursday afternoon.
Brett King, 51, and his wife Naghemeh, 45, were found with Ashya in van which was stopped by Spanish police near Malaga. Beforehand, Mr King had appeared in a video on YouTube in which he said: “I just please ask: Call off this ridiculous chase. We are not neglecting our son. We just want to be left in peace. I just want to get on with his treatment... we don't want the stress of being chased around.”
In the film, in which Ashya could be seen lying on his father's lap with his eyes open, Mr King said he wanted to take his son to Prague for proton beam therapy, which is not available on the NHS and the family were willing to fund it themselves by selling property.
This photo of Ashya King being examined by doctors in hospital was posted on Facebook by his brother, Naveed
The family from Southsea had been warned that if they did not follow advice given by doctors in England then “an emergency protection order” could be issued in which decisions were taken out of their hands, Mr King said.
“In his deepest, darkest hour I and my wife wouldn't be looking after him,” he said. The family had researched examples of proton beam treatment in other countries but claimed doctors in Southampton had said it would be unlikely to be of benefit.
“I'm not coming back to England if I cannot give him the treatment I want, proper treatment,” said Mr King. “We were most disturbed today to see our son's face over the internet and in newspapers and we've been labelled kidnappers as if we are putting his life at risk. You can see there is nothing wrong with him. He's very happy since we took him out of hospital. He's been smiling a lot more.”
Mr King said that they had begun looking at proton beam because it was more “targeted” and that they were worried that a programme of radiation and chemotherapy would “destroy everything in his head”. Mr King said the reaction had meant he had not been able to raise the money in the way he wanted to pay for extra treatment.
The family left the country on a ferry to France on Thursday. Police searching for them were growing increasingly fearful that Ashya's condition could deteriorate because he can only be fed using a tube and a medical pump with a limited battery life. Mr King said in the video they had “bundle of feeds”, iron supplements and calpol to help their son.
Read more: Time is running out as hunt goes on for ill boy missing from hospital
Brother of five-year-old boy with brain tumour taken by his parents posted emotional plea on Facebook
Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour taken from Southampton hospital by his parents
Hampshire Police said in a statement: “Ashya has been found. He is in Spain with his mum and dad. Police are speaking to his mum and dad and we are waiting to hear on Ashya's condition.”
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