Ashya's hope lies in proton therapy in Prague

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Ashya's hope lies in proton therapy in Prague

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The King couple’s fraught journey from Southampton (Aug. 28) with their son Ashya to the Czech Republic was strewn with obstacles. The British authorities had an international arrest warrant issued on the grounds of the medical controversy.

They made their way through France and then into Spain where they tried to sell a property in the Costa del Sol to gather the money to pay for Ashya’s treatment, far from the UK. They chose to stay at Hostal Esperanza — Hope Hostel.

In Spain, 51-year-old Brett and 45-year-old Naghemeh King were held in jail for a few hours, until the British dropped the arrest order and the parents were freed. Then they appealed publicly to insist they are not kidnappers.

On Sept. 3, Brett King said: “My heart is still up here. I don’t feel good but, hopefully, now that we can see our son we can be together, we can show love to him because without that there is no purpose to life We just want to help my son get through this bad time, because he hasn’t got too many months to live.”

Five-year-old Ashya and his mother and father were reunited at a hospital in Málaga. After lengthy discussions, all the authorities involved agreed about their continuing to the Czech Republic.

Ashya had two surgical operations to have a tumour tissue removed from his brain, on 24 July and 22 August. These were unsuccessful. He is unable to speak and is being fed through a tube. It is thought proton therapy in Prague might be able to help.

Director of Strategy at the Proton Therapy Centre Iva Tatounova said: “With the proton therapy you reduce the risk of irradiating something which doesn’t need to be irradiated because you target exactly the tumour. You don’t irradiate the soft tissue. The proton beam doesn’t go through your body. It stops exactly where it has to stop, exactly in the tumour delivering exactly the dose which is needed.”

The treatment costs 75,000 to 81,000 euros… the King family’s final hope to save Ashya.