I WILL agree to radiotherapy if my son has cancer, says mum who ran away to stop him receiving the life-saving treatment
22:57 GMT, 9 December 2012
Sally Roberts, 37, at the High Court last week. She sparked a nationwide hunt when she disappeared with her seven-year-old son, who is recovering from the removal of a large brain tumour
The mother who went on the run with her son to prevent him being given radiotherapy has dramatically relented – saying last night that she would allow doctors to perform the potentially life-saving treatment if his cancer had returned.
Sally Roberts, 37, sparked a nationwide hunt when she disappeared last week with her seven-year-old son Neon, who is recovering from the removal of a large brain tumour in October.
She claimed she had been told by a doctor that medics would have to ‘fry his [Neon’s] brains’ with radiotherapy to make sure his cancer would not recur.
The mother of two has since been fighting a high-profile legal battle with doctors to try to stop them giving Neon the treatment.
But after an MRI scan on Friday showed what appeared to be a one centimetre mass on her child’s brain, Mrs Roberts declared that she would support radiotherapy if it turned out to be cancer.
The mass showed up on the scan in the cavity where Neon’s medulloblastoma tumour was removed during a nine-hour operation on October 25.
Mrs Roberts remains convinced further tests will show that whatever has shown up on the scan is not cancerous.
If, however, the tumour has returned, she says she feels ‘completely’ differently about what course of treatment to pursue and would support doctors using radiotherapy.
‘I have to, don’t I’ she added. ‘My hands are up.’
Fearing radiotherapy would cause devastating side-effects, such as infertility and lower IQ, Mrs Roberts had wished to be allowed to defy doctors’ orders and pursue alternative treatments. But a High Court judgment on whether she could prevent her son having radiotherapy was dramatically adjourned on Saturday following the medical ‘developments’.
‘The doctor rang and said they saw something in the scan,’ Mrs Roberts said.
‘He [the doctor] called again and I spoke to him. “Something is showing up”, they said. But they were very vague.
‘They said, “We can see something and we need to do another scan on Monday to determine what it is”. He was very hopeful everything is still going to be OK.’
Neon is due in hospital this morning to have another MRI scan and a lumbar puncture to test his spinal fluid.
Should the cancer have returned, he is likely to have to have another operation before undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Even if the new scan is clear, the High Court could rule that radiotherapy must go ahead when the case concludes on December 18 following updated medical reports.
The court has previously heard from doctors that if Neon does not receive radiotherapy, ‘the alternative is death’.
A High Court judge last week made the extraordinary decision to name Neon in an attempt to find him after his father, Ben Roberts, became concerned that he had not heard from his former wife in four days.
He said he feared she had run off with Neon so she could prevent him having treatment.
Mrs Roberts, who is originally from New Zealand, was found with her son at 1.30am on Thursday in East Grinstead, West Sussex, where he had been undergoing treatment in an oxygen chamber after they fled from Devon last Sunday.
Sally Roberts wth her twin children Neon and Elektra. A High Court judge last week made the extraordinary decision to name Neon in an attempt to find him after his father became concerned
Neon's paternal grandfather, Christian Roberts, pictured, a wealthy hotelier in Barbados, supports his son and said: 'I want Neon to have whatever treatment is going to make him better'
When he was taken from her, he asked: ‘Am I ever going to see you again, Mummy’ He was then put in foster care before being returned to his father.
Mrs Roberts – who is an advocate of natural medicines and feeds her children a strict diet of organic foods and juices – insisted to the court that she was ‘not a bonkers mother’ and simply wanted what was best for Neon.
Mr Roberts, who wants his son to be treated conventionally, is looking after Neon and his twin sister, Elektra, while his former wife fights her case in the courts.
Mrs Roberts is now looking into the possibility of her son being treated using an ‘integrated approach’.
he require radiotherapy and chemotherapy, she wants him to be given
mineral and vitamin supplements intravenously at the same time.
Mrs Roberts, left, who is an advocate of natural medicines and feeds her children a strict diet of organic foods and juices, insisted to the court that she simply wanted what was best for Neon, right
Mrs Roberts and her son were found with at 1.30am on Thursday in East Grinstead, West Sussex. The boy, pictured above with his twin sister, had been undergoing treatment in an oxygen chamber
She also wants him to be able to continue with oxygen therapy.
Mrs Roberts’s reluctance to allow her son to be treated with radiotherapy has caused delays, meaning it is very close to the 49-day deadline when the treatment must begin or a patient’s chance of survival is significantly reduced.
After finding out about the recent scan results, other members of Neon’s family spoke out about the need for urgent radiotherapy.
His paternal grandfather, Christian Roberts, a wealthy hotelier in Barbados, said: ‘I support my son.
‘I want Neon to have whatever treatment is going to make him better.’