Aunty pleads for action to aid Ashya King

Tracy King
Tracy King

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THE family of seriously-ill Ashya King are pleading with the authorities to stop stalling over the boy’s future as time is running out.

The five-year-old’s auntie Tracy King told The News her nephew could die ‘at any time’ and a court order blocking his path to crucial treatment needs lifting right away.

It comes after Ashya’s parents Brett and Naghmeh King were reunited with their son at the Materno-Infantil hospital in Malaga, Spain, after all criminal action was dropped against them.

They were arrested on Saturday in Malaga after taking their son from Southampton General Hospital, where he was under specialist care, two days before.

But last night the Southsea couple could not press ahead seeking proton beam therapy for their son in Prague as they waited to see if the UK’s High Court would lift an order that has made it his legal guardian.

It means any decision about Ashya’s medical state needs approval of a judge.

Ms King, who lives in Southsea, said: ‘My nephew could die at any time and he might not make it when the authorities make their minds up. It’s traumatising. We need help.

‘It’s unbelievable. He is seriously ill.

‘The parents want to save his life and they are not being allowed to. It’s disgusting.

‘I am pleading with anyone to help who has a heart, because that kid won’t last much longer and he will be dead because of the authorities mucking about.’

Ashya’s parents have endured a whirlwind 24 hours.

After being released from police custody on Tuesday night, they held a press conference yesterday morning where Mr King spoke of his anguish at being separated from Ashya and revealed they had been treated like ‘terrorists’.

He also said that if Ashya had stayed in the UK he would have been ‘killed’ or turned into a ‘vegetable’ – claims that were strongly refuted by Southampton General Hospital.

The parents then arrived at the Materno-Infantil Hospital where Ashya has been cared for to see him for the first time since being arrested, only to be denied entry.

Confusion arose over whether the court order prevented them from seeing their child, prompting Mr King to say he was going to get arrested for trying to get in.

The situation was soon cleared up and the family were allowed to be together with a court representative being present, but could not take him away as per the terms of the court order.

Leaving through a back door of the hospital later with his older son Danny, Mr King said: ‘He was so pleased to see us. We’re trying to be hopeful.’

Portsmouth City Council’s legal team then got to work getting in touch with the High Court to see if Ashya can be moved prior to a scheduled hearing over the order on Monday.

A conference call was held between a judge and the parents’ solicitors over the need for an immediate resolution.

An update was expected today. Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, has urged for the court to drop the legal barrier as soon as possible.

‘I urge the court to review this situation urgently, including where and what country Ashya can receive treatment, if this is what the parents want,’ she said.

‘It’s obvious there has been a misunderstanding today.’

Her calls were later backed by Portsmouth’s Lib Dem group leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who has written to the council’s chief executive, David Williams, demanding the authority goes to court today to lift all restrictions.

A statement by Michael Duncan, of The Judicial Office said:‘Ashya is a ward of court and no decision about his future can be taken without the court’s approval.

‘At the hearing on September 2, the judge adjourned the case until Monday, September 8 to allow the parents an opportunity to be represented and put forward their proposals for Ashya’s treatment.’

Meanwhile, the Proton Therapy Centre said it had been sent Ashya’s medical records and believed the technique was suitable for him – but would need to return to the UK for treatment first.

Dr Jiri Kubes, head of proton therapy at the Prague clinic, said: ‘So, Ashya shall go for proton therapy to the Czech Republic.

‘However, prior to this he will need to return to England first.’

Ashya’s grandmother Patricia King said the ordeal has taken its toll on the family.

‘This situation is absolutely devastating,’ she said.

‘They have been through so much.

‘Every day for little Ashya is precious.

‘It’s like he is on death row.’

Additional reporting by Megan Carnegie Brown