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High Court judge orders brain surgery for seven year old cancer victim

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February 12, 2024

A High Court judge has ruled that a seven year old should undergo “urgent” surgery to treat his brain tumour despite the opposition of his mother.

Sitting in the Family Division, Mr Justice Bodey said seven year old Neon Roberts should undergo surgery tomorrow (Wednesday 19 December), as scans had revealed that part of a tumour removed during surgery last year was still present.

Neon’s mother Sally Roberts, originally from New Zealand, said she needed “more expert opinion” before agreeing to surgery, but Mr Justice Bodey said while he was sympathetic to her plight, she had not accepted the evidence of cancer experts, including a second opinion which had been obtained for her.

“We do not have the luxury of time”, he told Mrs Roberts, who has parted company with her counsel. According to reports, she will be represented by solicitor Imran Khan in future hearings.

The 37 year-old mother is also opposed to radiotherapy treatment planned for her son, saying it could cause infertility and brain damage. Doctors insist Neon could die within months without radiotherapy.

Earlier this month, Mrs Roberts disappeared for several days with Neon as she did not wish him to undergo the radiation treatment.

Mr Justice Bodey is expected to hear further arguments on the issue of radiotherapy when the hearing resumes on Thursday following the surgery, with a ruling possible by the end of this week.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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