Cancer patient pursued by Police

Orsay proton therapy dsc04460


Ashya King has been found in Spain


The headlines announced that a three- country police search for a little five-year-old boy with cancer had ended.  He had been discovered in Spain, and currently he is in hospital in Malaga.


The story is full of holes, but I can’t help feeling for the boy’s parents, who were accused of kidnaoping when they took their little boy from Southampton hospital, supposedly against the wishes of doctors.

These doctors had said he didn’t have long to live, but apparently had refused to give him Proton therapy.  The parents had pleaded for this, and apparently it is available in Europe for this cancer.  So, they had laken the little boy out of hospital, gathered up his siblings, and set off across the Channel by car, driving across France and ending up in Malaga, Spain.

Fellow feeling

This story caught my heart, as in essence it was nearly what happened to me.  Diagnosed with cancer, I found the side effects from drugs made me blind in one eye, and then produced massive, bloody blisters that popped out all over my body.  Doctors in Britain said they had “never seen this before”, or “it’s due to your age” and shrugged their shoulders.  No help there – I was left to handle the problems on my own.

I was grown-up, and could follow the advice of a Hospital Chaplain who advised me to seek treatment from French hospitals.  Which I did.  And they confirmed my terrifying conditions were the result of cancer drug side effects.  French cancer specialists were well-used to dealing with these, and set about helping me as a matter of course. When I returned to London, and told my doctors what had been found out, they weren’t the slightest bit interested.  Even decrying French treatment, and arrogantly dismissing what had worked for me.

When I pointed out that I had ween treated in world-recognised cancer centres, and that the WHO (World Health Organisation) places Britain well down in the league of post-cancer survivors, well below France and other European countries, this was arrogantly dismissed with shrugs.  No-one showed the slightest interest.

Esther Rantzen

The radio news mentioned I wasn’t the only person to be concerned;  apparently Esther Rantzen had voiced doubts;  the Police chief who was organising the hunt for the little boy and his family seemed ill-at-ease, and although he was obviously deeply concerned at the effect on the child, one felt there were a log of questions to be answered.


If in future this might have the effect of making the NHS more co-operative with recognised hospitals in Europe, this sorry case could have a good outcome.  MD Anderson is probably World’s most advanced and respected hospital for treating cancer, and they can offer Proton therapy in Madrid, capital of Spain.

Whatever happens, one hopes that the King family will be given help – and if Ashya could benefit from Proton therapy, HE GETS IT – in UK or abroad.

What apals me is the arrogant way that UK Oncologists are so dismissive of what is going on just a few miles across the Channel.  It’s about time they took off their blinkers are gave us post cancer survival rates as good as European ones.

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