A 7-year-old boy with a brain tumour has started radiotherapy
in Britain following a legal battle by his New Zealand mother
to prevent the treatment in favour of alternative methods.
Neon Roberts was diagnosed with a malignant tumour in
October, but his radiotherapy was put on hold while his
mother Sally Roberts fought the "gold standard treatment"
through the British courts.
Mrs Roberts, a 37-year-old former DJ from Auckland, feared
the treatment could cause her son serious side-effects.
Last month a High Court judge dismissed her case and sided
with her estranged husband Ben Roberts, 34, after doctors
said Neon would die within three months if he was denied
The judge said he was worried that Mrs Roberts' "judgment has
gone awry" over the seriousness of the threat to her son's
Neon began his first round of radiotherapy on Thursday after
completing a course of play therapy and a practice run on
Wednesday to prepare him, British media reported.
Sources said he was "doing very well", The Mirror said.
"I have seen pictures of Neon having the play therapy. It is
heartbreaking," Mrs Roberts was quoted as saying.
During the court dispute last year, Mrs Roberts prompted a
nationwide search in Britain after going into hiding with her
He has since been living with his father.
Neon's mother previously suggested she would appeal against
the High Court's decision, but no appeal was made by her
lawyers before Neon's treatment began, the newspaper
Mr Roberts reportedly refused to allow his former wife to
visit their son in hospital at Christmas.
Delays in Neon's treatment have caused increasing concerns
among surgeons about Neon's chances of survival.
He had the cancerous brain tumour, called medulloblastoma,
first removed in October and a second operation to remove
more cancerous cells from his brain last month, which Mrs