UK & World News

  • 4 September 2014, 3:38

Ashya 'So Pleased' To Be Reunited With Parents

The parents of cancer patient Ashya King have said he was so pleased to be reunited with them that he struggled to get his breath.

Brett and Naghemeh King have seen the five-year-old for the first time since they were arrested on Saturday after taking him from Southampton General Hospital.

As he left the Materno-Infantil hospital in Malaga with his oldest son Danny, Mr King spoke of the moment he saw Ashya again.

"He couldn't breathe he was so happy," he said. "He was so pleased to see us. We're trying to be hopeful. Tomorrow I meet with the cancer specialist.

"He's not in such a good state as when we left him - spirit depressed since his parents left him. We'll do what it takes. Not much else to do."

Hospital officials said they expected Mrs King to stay the night with Ashya, who is recovering from an operation to remove a brain tumour.

He was admitted to the Materno-Infantil hospital after his after parents were detained and taken to a jail near Madrid pending an extradition hearing.

They were freed on Tuesday night after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case against them amid growing protests over the case.

The reunion appeared to be in doubt when Mr King claimed he would be barred from visiting Ashya as the five-year-old had been made a ward of court.

However, it was quickly established this did not mean his parents were not able to see him.

Mr King said earlier he and his wife had been treated like "terrorists" since taking Ashya abroad for alternative proton beam therapy.

He insisted they had informed Southampton General of their intentions to go to the Czech capital Prague and there was no need for them to respond as they did.

But chief paediatrician Dr Peter Wilson said staff at Southampton General were taken by surprise and were "very, very worried" when they realised Ashya was missing, which is why they called police.

"At no stage did the family say to us that they were going to take Ashya and go to Prague," he said.

The Proton Therapy Centre in Prague says doctors in Southampton have agreed to refer Ashya to the clinic after two cycles of chemotherapy in the UK, which was likely to take several weeks.

A fundraising page set up to help pay for the therapy has so far raised more than 21,000, while Charity Kids'n'CancerUK said they have agreed to provide the 100,000 needed for the treatment, plus living costs, after donors pledged 35,000 in 24 hours.

Chief executive Mike Hyman said: "I have spoken to Ashya's brother, Naveed, and he is dead chuffed."

A hearing at the High Court in London on Tuesday was adjourned until next week to give Mr and Mrs King and the authorities time to reach an agreement on Ashya's future.

The hope is this will happen very soon, possibly on Friday. If they fail the judge will decide what is best for him.

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