A woman who went missing with her seven-year-old son rather than let him receive lifesaving radiotherapy if the need arose has been told that her son’s cancer has returned.
Sally Roberts, 37, and her estranged husband Ben, 34, were given the devastating news about their son about Neon in an emergency meeting with doctors on Tuesday.
The Telegraphreports that Neon underwent MRI scans last Friday. The results revealed a one centimeter mass in an area where his previous brain tumor was removed.
After those initial tests, a neurosurgeon confirmed that the mass was cancer after further tests were performed. The medical term for the mass is “medulloblastoma.”
Despite this confirmation and doctors’ advice that Neon will need further surgery to remove the regrowth, even before chemotherapy and radiotherapy can begin, Ms. Roberts says she is still “50:50″about consenting to the full treatment.
Reportedly, Ms. Roberts is seeking a second opinion.
“It’s all up in the air,” the former DJ told UK newspaper, The Daily Mail.”I don’t want my boy to have radiotherapy because of the side effects. I still think Neon does not need it.”
“It is dreadful, it is really awful.”
Originally from Auckland, New Zealand but now resident in the UK, Ms. Roberts sparked a nationwide hunt last week after she failed to turn up to a scheduled High Court date in the ongoing dispute with her estranged husband over their son’s medical treatment.
During the first week of December, Ms. Roberts left her Devon home and fled with her her son to an address in Brighton, East Sussex.
Her estranged husband, Ben, an IT consultant who shares custody of Neon with Ms. Roberts, alerted the police when their absence became apparent.
Fears for Neon’s health were so great that the court Judge took the drastic step of allowing Neon’s identity to be released to the press in order to track down the pair’s whereabouts.
Police raided the Brighton address where Ms. Roberts took Neon at 2.00 am. Social workers then forcibly took the child away from the distraught mother, later returning him to his father.
In the dispute between Ms. Roberts and her ex-husband, she maintains the “side effects” of radiotherapy would change her son’s personality and creativity and possibly damage his future ability to have children.
However, Neon’s father agrees with doctors that the child’s best chance of survival must involve a program of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Doctors have said that without any form of treatment, Neon — whose previous cancerous brain tumor was removed in October — will certainly die.
A court ruling on whether Neon could receive the advised treatments despite a lack of consent from Ms. Roberts was delayed on Saturday because of these medical “developments.”
Presiding judge Mr. Justice Bodey accepted Ms. Robert’s apology when she finally appeared in court on December 6 that she had “panicked” about going to court.
Ms. Roberts’ desired holistic treatment approach to her son’s condition versus her ex-partner’s wish that Neon is treated conventionally has triggered fierce debate in the UK and overseas.
It’s thought the dramatic change in Neon’s health may prompt a change of heart from Ms. Roberts about allowing the dual-pronged chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
In the event that an impasse remains, presiding Judge Mr. Justice Bodey has the power to veto one parent’s wishes over the other.
The judge has described the case as the “stuff of every parent’s nightmare.” All will return to court next week when a decision will be made based on Neon’s new medical diagnosis.