A New Zealand mother who has rejected life-saving treatment
for her cancer-stricken son has admitted that among the
reasons for her bitter legal battle is a fear that she might
never become a grandmother.
Sally Roberts says she is worried that radiotherapy would
damage her 7-year old son Neon's DNA, reduce his IQ and leave
him infertile. Last week, the 37-year-old lost a
controversial High Court battle in Britain against Neon's
father and doctors who want the boy to receive radiotherapy
treatment for a malignant brain tumour.
Yesterday (January 3), she gave a defiant interview on ITV's
Daybreak programme in the UK to say she is going to
appeal against the judge's decision for Neon to receive
"We all want what is best for Neon. I would not even consider
an appeal if I did not think it was the best thing," said the
mother of two.
When asked why she opposed radiotherapy, Ms Roberts replied:
"Just damaging the DNA, altering it and him never recovering
from that. Affecting his growth, leaving him infertile. No
grandchildren is a big factor.
"There are so many other treatments that he could be having.
I feel there are other options out there that we have not
Ms Roberts prompted a UK-wide search last month after
disappearing with Neon, who has already had two operations -
the second time after a court order.
The pair were found five days later.
Yesterday she also used the air-time to take a swipe at her
critics, including her estranged husband Ben.
"It should be my choice as I am the one who has to look after
him. I have always been his main carer, so why Ben has
stepped up now is beyond me," she said.
Doctors say that the boy's chances of survival have been
reduced because of delays to his treatment caused by legal
challenges, which Ms Roberts, originally from Auckland but
who now lives in Devon, has rejected.
One viewer, whose grandson had received radiotherapy,
contacted Daybreak to accuse Ms Roberts of playing
"Russian roulette" with her son's life.
"That is based on what [the viewer] knows," she replied.
"If she is just provided with the information on the surface
then I'm sure that is what she thinks. But when you do a lot
of digging. you have new facts ... [radiotherapy] is popular
in the UK but in other countries they are giving other
treatments that are working."
She claimed that alternative therapies should be considered.
The boy's radiotherapy is due to begin next week.