Mum worried about son's fertility
Friday 4 Jan 2013 2:18 p.m.
An Auckland born woman who lost a British court battle to stop her son having radiotherapy says she's launched an appeal.
Neon Roberts' recently had a cancerous brain tumour removed and doctors say his life is at risk if he doesn't start treatment next week. But his mother Sally Roberts says there's not enough proof that radiotherapy is the best option.
Ms Roberts is fighting to regain her decision-making authority as a mother.
She lost that right just before Christmas when a British judge ruled against her and cleared the way for doctors to start planning radiotherapy treatment for her son.
The Kiwi ex-pat says a human rights lawyer is now appealing that decision.
“I've had so much support and I wouldn't be sitting here now or even considering an appeal if I didn't think I was doing the right thing,” Ms Roberts says.
But Ms Roberts does not have the support of her estranged husband, Neon's father. Their relationship broke down because of her ongoing battle against Neon's doctors.
“It should be my choice because I'm the one who is going to be caring for Neon.”
But Neon's father Ben is currently caring for his son.
“I have always been Neon's main carer so why Ben has stepped up now is beyond me,” Ms Roberts says.
She says she's especially concerned that radiotherapy would affect Neon's fertility, meaning no grandchildren. She says there are other treatments available in Germany and China which may be less invasive.
One of those is called hyperthermia.
“Hyperthermia, not hypothermia. It's heating. It helps stimulate the body into healing and it actually works alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the moment in these countries to lessen the side effects.”
Ms Roberts must find a medical professional to back up her case in court and she says there's still enough time to do that.
She admits she may not be seeing how ill her son is.
“Yes, you could say that but I would like the opportunity to do all these other treatments for him.”
As the legal battle continues, the little boy at the centre of it all still has no idea about the controversy that surrounds him.
Neon's radiotherapy treatment is due to begin next week. If it's delayed any further doctors say his chance of survival will diminish rapidly.