Sally Roberts stands by her actions

Last updated 10:40 01/02/2014
Stands by her actions
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STANDS BY HER ACTIONS: Sally Roberts leaving the high court on December 21, 2012.

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A New Zealand mother who tried to stop her eight-year-old son receiving cancer treatment continues to stand by her actions.

Sally Roberts, formerly of Auckland, lost a case in the British High Court to stop her son, Neon, from receiving radiotherapy for a malignant brain tumour.

Doctors said without the treatment, Neon would be dead within three months.   

Roberts feared the treatment would fry his brain, and hid Neon from authorities. After a four-day man hunt, the pair were found by police.  After undergoing radiotherapy last year, recent scans showed Neon was in remission.

Roberts told BBC Five Radio that Neon was making a good recovery now the treatment was finished. 

"His spirit's up, he's handled everything so well. I'm so proud."

He would go back to school when he felt strong enough, she said. 

"He's very pale, he doesn't look that great at the moment. I think he has to get his confidence up and feel that strength that he wants to go back."

Roberts said she was "thrilled" her son was in remission, but had not changed her views on the use of radiotherapy.

"He was cancer-free a year ago and that's why I was against the treatment... because I think radiation as a precautionary measure is very harsh." 

She said she had been misrepresented, and had never been entirely against conventional treatment.

"I wanted the best treatment for my son and I didn't feel radiation was necessary because at that time he was already cancer-free," she said.

"The alarm bells rang when I was in the hospital reading the letter the doctor gave me which said one of the long-term side effects is secondary cancers and that very much scared me."

Neon still had "no idea" of the legal battle he had been at the centre of, and Roberts would discuss it with him at an appropriate time, she said. 

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