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Brain tumour boy Ashya King back home in Portsmouth

image copyrightReuters
image captionAshya King was being treated for brain cancer in Southampton before his parents took him out of the UK

A boy who was at the centre of an international manhunt after his parents took him abroad for brain tumour treatment is back home in Portsmouth.

Brett and Naghemeh King took six-year-old Ashya out of a Southampton hospital against medical advice last summer.

The couple took him abroad to seek proton beam treatment, but when they were found in Spain they were arrested and held in prison.

They eventually won approval for Ashya to be treated in the Czech Republic.

Mr and Mrs King had remained abroad with their son after the treatment saying they feared he could be taken into care.

The Portsmouth Local Safeguarding Children Board announced in September it would review the circumstances which led to the Kings taking Ashya abroad and the response of all the statutory authorities.

Its report is due to be published in the autumn.

Ashya had been diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, which was successfully removed by surgeons in Southampton on 24 July.

He then had a further operation on his brain on 22 August.

Ashya was then offered radiotherapy on the NHS.

image copyrightReuters
image captionNaghemeh and Brett King spent more than 24 hours in prison in Madrid
image copyrightReuters
image captionAshya was taken to a hospital in Prague on 9 September, the week after his parents were in jail

The Kings took him to Spain, where they have a holiday home, while they sought the alternative treatment, but were arrested at the request of the British authorities.

Ashya who was unable to speak, eat or drink on his own and relied on a food pump was taken to a hospital in Malaga.

A High Court judge then approved the move to take Ashya to Prague for proton therapy.

The treatment limits the damage radiation can cause to other organs.

The therapy was not initially offered to him by the NHS, although the health service later agreed to fund Ashya's treatment in Prague.

Mr King told the Sun newspaper in March a recent scan showed "no evidence" of the tumour in his son.

  • It uses charged particles instead of X-rays to deliver radiotherapy for cancer patients
  • The treatment allows high energy protons to be targeted directly at a tumour, reducing the dose to surrounding tissues and organs
  • In general, it gives fewer side-effects compared to high energy X-ray treatments
  • It can be used to treat spinal cord tumours, sarcomas near the spine or brain, prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and some children's cancers
  • In December 2011, the UK Department of Health said proton therapy would be made available for patients in London and Manchester from 2018

Related Topics

  • Southampton
  • Portsmouth

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