The story of young Ashya King has taken a dramatic twist in the last 24 hours as it has emerged that the motives for his Jehovah’s Witness parents removing him from hospital were NOT religious as initially suspected by some (myself included).
Last night Brett King, Ashya’s father, made an emotional appearance in a YouTube video claiming he fled the UK with his son because doctors refused to consider proton beam therapy. King said he was afraid Ashya’s doctors would obtain a court order blocking him from seeing his son if he objected.
The Hampshire police, who initiated a European-wide arrest warrant that eventually succeeded in Ashya’s parents being arrested in Spain on suspicion of neglect, have come under heavy criticism in the UK. Ashya’s grandmother, Patricia King, has labelled their actions in hunting down her son and daughter-in-law as “disgraceful.”
“I think they (the police) have been absolutely disgraceful … I have nothing but condemnation for them,” she said.
“To be told that that’s it, that you can’t do any more for the child, of course Brett took alternative measures,” she said.
“Other people have done it (sought proton beam therapy), so why have they gone after my son like this?
“They’ve made him out to be a criminal.”
Meanwhile, another parent of a brain tumor victim has spoken of her own struggle in securing proton beam treatment for her son.
“We were told the same thing, that Alex’s tumour wasn’t suitable for proton therapy by the NHS here in this country,” said Ros Barnes, whose son eventually had beam therapy treatment in the US.
“The alternative here was radiotherapy, and he was only four years old at the time it would have caused extreme brain damage and probably wouldn’t have worked either. So yes, I would have done the same as this family.”
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for assuming that Ashya’s parents’ behavior was religiously motivated. Though, as a parent, I cannot condone taking a critically ill child out of hospital and on a 1,000+ mile car journey, as more information comes to light I can certainly sympathize with the King family’s horrendous predicament. I hope above all that Ashya will receive the treatment he needs, whatever (and wherever) that may prove to be.