HEALTH

Parents reunited with Ashya, but must await ruling before custody

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 September, 2014, 1:15am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 September, 2014, 1:15am
 

The British parents jailed after taking their critically-ill son Ashya King from hospital enjoyed an emotional reunion with him at his bedside in Spain yesterday, an official said.

Brett King, 51, and his wife Neghemeh, 45, saw their five-year-old son for the first time since they walked free, after an extradition order against them by British prosecutors was lifted.

But officials warned the desperate parents must wait for a custody ruling to know whether they could take him away from the hospital to seek the alternative treatment they wanted for his brain tumour.

"They were able to see him without any problem. It was very emotional," said an official at the children's hospital in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

The couple were detained on Saturday for having taken Ashya out of a British hospital without doctors' consent.

Brett King said yesterday he feared he would not be allowed to see Ashya because an English court has had legal custody of the boy since last week when his parents took him to Spain.

He said they were longing to see the boy again after their four days in jail, saying "there was no minute that went by without our hearts hurting to see Ashya".

The hospital said the parents could "stay with him the whole time but they will not be able to take him out of the hospital until the custody issue is resolved".

The top health official for the Andalusia region where Malaga is located, Maria Jose Sanchez, said her department had been contacted by the court in Portsmouth and would have to consult with the justice ministry before taking "the appropriate decisions" on custody of Ashya.

The Kings want Ashya to undergo an alternative treatment called proton beam therapy.

Ashya's brother Danny said he had seen Ashya on Tuesday and that "physically he's fine but emotionally he's very confused," because he hadn't seen his parents. He said the family had received information on possible treatment in the United States, but he expected his parents would choose a clinic in Prague for proton beam therapy.

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