Ashya's joy at reunion with parents

Ashya's joy at reunion with parents

Naghemeh and Brett King during a press conference after being released from a jail near Madrid. (AP)

A video posted on YouTube by Naveed King showed Brett King with his son Ashya and explained why he was taken by his parents from hospital without doctors' consent.

Brett King leaves Soto del Real prison near Madrid after British authorities dropped the case against him and his wife

First published in National News © by

The parents of young cancer patient Ashya King have described how the boy struggled for breath with joy as he was reunited with his family in a Spanish hospital tonight.

Brett and Naghmeh King saw the five-year-old brain tumour patient today for the first time since they were arrested on Saturday, having fled from Southampton General Hospital in search of treatment.

Leaving through a back door of the Materno-Infantil hospital in Malaga with his older son Danny, Mr King spoke of the first moments he saw his son.

"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 expect Mrs King to stay the night with Ashya, amid reports the Kings would not be permitted to remove the child from the premises. A Materno-Infantil spokeswoman said local authorities had received notification from British officials that the parents should not be allowed to take the boy away.

The reunion initially appeared to be in doubt when Mr King claimed he would be barred from visiting the child after Ashya was made a ward of court. But it was established that those proceedings do not stop the couple seeing him.

Mrs King said she had been "crying and crying" as she described the torment of being unable to help her son from the jail cell near Madrid where she and her husband had been detained since they were arrested on Saturday.

She told the BBC: "What could I do in a prison cell? I was just praying so I could be reunited with him again. All I could do was just cry and pray."

Mr King said his heart was "aching" to see Ashya again and hit out at their treatment since they removed him from Southampton almost a week ago, saying they had been "treated like terrorists".

He claimed he had previously informed the hospital about his plans to seek proton beam therapy for his son - which he said was not available to him on the NHS - but kept the date that he intended to take him secret, for fear he would be stopped.

"I couldn't actually tell them the day because they had threatened me previously," he said.

"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.

"So from that moment I had so much fear to mention anything to them because they could have stopped my son getting any treatment and just forcing this very strong treatment on him.

"I was in fear."

Earlier the couple spoke in public about their ordeal for the first time since they were freed from Soto del Real prison last night.

They were released after British authorities abandoned their attempts to extradite them, amid a public backlash.

David Cameron told MPs that decisions taken in Ashya's case were "not correct".

At Prime Minister's Questions, he added: "To be fair to the authorities involved in the case of Ashya King, they all want to do the best for the child. That's what they are thinking of."

Speaking outside Southampton General Hospital, Dr Peter Wilson, chief paediatrician, told Sky News that the family had made it clear that they would like to take Ashya to Prague, but that the hospital had no idea the family had planned to leave.

He said the family were not keen on parts of the treatment which had been suggested, and that there were discussions about different forms of treatment.

He said: "We had made it very clear what could be offered on the NHS.

"While were we 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."

Asked whether they had threatened Mr and Mrs King with an order which would have taken away their right to make decisions about their son's care, he said: "Absolutely not. We absolutely disagree with that statement."

He added: "We have said to them (the family) that we would absolutely take him back here."

Earlier the Proton Therapy Centre in the Czech Republic claimed it had been sent Ashya's medical records and believed the technique was suitable for him.

Dr Jiri Kubes, head of proton therapy at the clinic in Prague, said: "So, Ashya shall go for proton therapy to the Czech Republic. However, prior to this he will need to return to England first."

A fundraising page set up to help pay for the treatment has so far raised more than £21,000, while Charity Kids'n'CancerUK said they have agreed to pay the £100,000 needed for Ashya's 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."

In a statement tonight, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones said there appeared to have been a "misunderstanding" today and called for urgent clarification about Ashya's treatment.

Tonight, Daniel Perez, a health delegate for the regional government of Andalusia, said: "The parents have told the hospital that the child is being well looked after, they are happy with the treatment he is receiving at the Materno-Infantil hospital, and initially they have said the child is going to be here for a few days."

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