Ashya King due to start proton beam therapy

Ashya King
Ashya King

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FIVE-year-old Ashya King is due to start specialist treatment for his brain tumour today.

The Southsea boy is set to undergo the first of six weeks’ worth of proton beam therapy sessions in Prague.

But his grandmother Patricia King, of Southsea, said his personality has been ‘destroyed’ after his parents Brett and Naghemeh were arrested in Spain and Ashya was taken to a hospital without his family.

She said: ‘He still cries a little bit if Brett leaves the room for a second. The authorities destroyed his personality.

‘He was absolutely terrified at being left there on his own.

‘He is just beginning to trust they’re not going to go.’

The youngster’s parents took him from Southampton General Hospital last month against medical advice and travelled to Spain.

They wanted him to have proton beam therapy in Prague, which he starts today.

Their actions sparked an international search, before Brett, 51, and Naghemeh, 45, were arrested when a European Arrest Warrant was issued by a court.

Hampshire police said doctors had told the force the boy was at risk because he had a feeding tube inserted, which could have run out.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, police, courts and Portsmouth City Council – which applied to make the boy a ward of court – have all been criticised for their actions.

As reported, Hampshire police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes’ office announced a review would be taking place.

Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board, which protects young people in the city, is to scrutinise whether Southampton General Hospital, the city council and Hampshire police acted as they should have done.

Despite his ordeal, Patricia said Ashya was improving.

Patricia added: ‘Brett said he’s doing well because he’s moving his arms and legs.

‘He’s going to get a bit more confident.’

Ashya’s parents are now staying near him in a hostel close to the grounds of the treatment centre in Prague.

A national newspaper reported yesterday that Brett, a Jehovah’s Witness, would agree to Ashya having a blood transfusion – which the religion sees as a sin – if it was needed.

Patricia added that Brett has always said this.

She said: ‘Brett already said right from the start that it’s okay.

‘He wouldn’t want Ashya dying because of blood.’