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Final plans for Ashya's treatment

Final plans were being made today for five-year-old cancer patient Ashya King to be taken to a clinic in the Czech Republic to receive treatment not available in England, after a High Court judge approved his parents' request to do so.

The hospital where he is being treated in Malaga, Spain, said that Ashya was in a stable condition, and that a flight to Prague would not pose a problem to his health, the Associated Press reported.

Southern Malaga's Children's and Maternity Hospital said its medical directors were due to meet today to review preparations, AP said.

The hospital said that a special aircraft would pick Ashya up.

Brett and Naghmeh King, who hit the headlines after taking their five-year-old son from Southampton General Hospital without the permission of doctors, had their treatment plan for Ashya approved yesterday after a telephone call between their lawyers, the hospital's legal representatives and a judge.

The Proton Therapy Centre in Prague has said it has arranged a private medical jet, fitted with appropriate medical equipment, to transport the child from Spain.

The clinic has told the BBC it expects the earliest the young boy will arrive is Monday.

The Kings were arrested and held in custody after British police raised the alarm when they took their son from hospital on August 28. They were released when prosecutors withdrew an arrest warrant in the wake of a public outcry.

Portsmouth City Council, which has responsibilities for Ashya's welfare, launched family court litigation - asking for directions about the youngster's treatment.

Mr Justice Baker began analysing issues surrounding Ashya's treatment at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Tuesday. The judge was told that Mr and Mrs King wanted their son to receive proton beam radiotherapy.

The judge said in his order, released yesterday, that Ashya could be taken to the Czech Republic. He said he had been told that specialists there had considered a treatment plan.

A spokesman for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has said: "(This) judgment will allow Ashya to get the treatment he urgently needs without any further delays.

"Throughout the period that we cared for Ashya and over the last few days, our only interest has been his health, medical treatment and welfare. We will continue to support any clinicians involved in his future care with advice and information."

Family lawyer Juan Isidro Fernandez Diaz told reporters: "We are preparing all the things for travel by plane. He is in perfect condition to travel at the moment, he is playing with his toys, with his parents, with his brother, and we are preparing to travel.

"It can happen this weekend, at maximum Monday morning. We think that he will travel maybe tomorrow, maybe this evening. At any moment, it can happen."

When it was suggested that if he went now, he would not be able to go to the centre until Monday, Mr Diaz said that a hospital was waiting for him.

The parents were "really happy" with the court's decision, he said.

The therapy centre's director of strategy, Iva Tatounova, said a meeting would be held in Prague on Monday to review documentation received from Malaga about the boy's current condition.

She told Sky News: "We have received that documentation this afternoon, and Monday morning at 8 o'clock, in Motol Hospital, the best doctors and oncologic paediatricians will sit down to review this document, and therefore will be able to say, yes, he's capable of travelling to Prague."

Nothing could happen until after that meeting, she said.

"We have to follow the standard procedures, which, if he comes on Monday night or Tuesday night or even Wednesday night, this doesn't make any harm to him, and the family can feel OK."

Asked what would happen first, she said he would be admitted to the Motol hospital, and doctors there will examine him.

"Proton therapy will be part of his treatment. If he receives chemotherapy or not, this decision has to be made by Motol clinical oncologists, we don't do chemotherapy here."

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