MADRID (AP) — A British boy who has a severe brain tumor is being readied to travel from southern Spain for treatment in the Czech Republic’s capital aboard a specially-prepared private jet, officials said late Sunday.
The transfer of 5-year-old Ashya King could begin “in the next few hours,” according to Manuel Paz, medical director of Malaga’s Children’s and Maternity Hospital, and Daniel Perez, the province of Malaga’s health representative.
Paz and Perez met with King’s parents, and they agreed the move could take place. Paz said the boy was in a stable condition and able to fly to Prague for “alternative treatment.”
The boy’s parents, Brett and Naghmeh King, were initially arrested by Spanish police after they removed Ashya without medical consent from a hospital in the English city of Southampton and drove him to Malaga.
They were later released after charges against them were dropped by British police.
The Kings said they wanted their son to be treated with proton beam technology instead of the X-rays being used by Southampton General Hospital.
Protons are atomic particles like electrons but with a positive charge, whereas X-rays have no mass and are made up of radiation.
The Kings said they believed the treatment available at the Proton Therapy Center in Prague would be better for their son than the conventional radiotherapy offered in Britain.
The parents triggered a police hunt when they were seen boarding a ferry bound for France hours after having removed their son from the Southampton hospital.
Ashya’s fight against cancer hit the headlines when British police then asked Interpol to issue a European arrest warrant for his parents.