Surgery ordered for cancer-stricken boy

Last updated 06:56 19/12/2012
Sally Roberts
MUM KNOWS BEST: Sally Roberts says there is no evidence that radiotherapy will save her son's life.
Neon Roberts
LITTLE BATTLER: Neon Roberts.

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A Kiwi mum has lost a battle to prevent her cancer stricken boy from receiving more treatment, with a judge in the United Kingdom ordering it.

Neon Roberts' Kiwi mum made headlines across the UK after refusing to have him treated for fear of the side effects of radiotherapy.

Sally Roberts, a former DJ from Auckland, went on the run with her seven-year-old son for four days before British police eventually caught her and brought them back.

The Family Division of the High Court in England was told by doctors overnight that Neon needed further brain surgery before radiotherapy could begin and without it, he would die.

Neon has already had brain surgery to remove a tumour and was expected to have radiotherapy in the weeks after before his mother took him on the run.

At the weekend, Roberts and her estranged husband Ben Roberts received news that Neon's cancer had returned.

MRI scans showed a mass, about 1cm in diameter, had grown.

According to the Daily Mail, Roberts had initially consented to Neon having the radiotherapy but changed her mind just before the hearing.

In his ruling, Justice Bodey said the benefits of surgery far outweighed the negatives.

"I have reflected on the mother's concerns and no one could fail to sympathise with her and indeed the father.

"'Those concerns and uncertainties may well be part of the reason why she had consented to surgery, but when I had walked into court I was told she no longer consented.

"I have weighed up the risk factors attached in surgery. It is obvious and known to everyone that all operations carry risks and this is no exception.

"But taking this on the balance against the expected gains to Neon, in the unhappy position he now finds himself in, I am quite satisfied that surgery is in his best interests and I am making a declaration so it can go ahead."

Both of Neon's parents will be at his bedside while he undergoes surgery overnight.

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