A statement from Dr Michael Marsh, medical director at UHSFT, regarding Ashya King

“We were really concerned about Ashya’s welfare when he went missing from our hospital last Friday and for a period of time we had no idea where he was or what his parents intentions were. It is possible for parents to care for a child who is being fed through a nasogastric tube. However there are a number of risks that need to be managed and it is vitally important that this is properly supervised with close contact between the family and the medical and nursing team. The search for Ashya that was led by Hampshire Police has thankfully been successful. We are grateful for their efforts which have meant Ashya is under the care of a clinical team in Spain.

“The chances of surviving the condition Ashya has are about 70-80% after five years so we believe that he has a good chance of a successful outcome provided he gets access to the most appropriate treatment. We have discussed proton beam radiotherapy with Ashya’s family and there are some tumours that respond well to this type of treatment, but there are some cases where there isn’t the evidence that this is a beneficial treatment. Where the evidence supports this treatment we have made a referral and patients have been treated abroad.

“As events have unfolded we recognise that this must be a very distressing situation for the family. In situations where children who might be very young are suffering from life-threatening illnesses it is vital that a relationship is maintained between the family and medical staff so that treatment options can be openly discussed and agreed. We very much regret that the communication and relationship with the King family had broken down in this way and that for whatever reason they have lost confidence in us. Our first concern is for Ashya’s welfare and we are working with the police and the team in Spain to help him get the best care possible.”

Posted on Monday 1 September 2014