I had no choice, says runaway mum

Sally Roberts apologised for running off with her son and said that she had panicked

Sally Roberts apologised for running off with her son and said that she had panicked

First published in National News © by

A woman who ran away with her seven-year-old son to stop him having cancer treatment said she had "no choice" because she felt she was on a "conveyor belt".

Sally Roberts, 37, disappeared with Neon after a dispute with her estranged husband Ben over the boy's condition and treatment, despite doctors saying their son could die within months without radiotherapy.

Ms Roberts told ITV's Daybreak that she does not necessarily want him treated in an "alternative way" but wanted options other than radiotherapy explored amid her fears of its potentially damaging affect on Neon.

She agreed that going on the run with her son was an "act of desperation". She said: "I was on a conveyor belt and I had no choice. They said treatment must start. I thought if I was going to take him to the hospital they would never let us go home."

New Zealander Ms Roberts, who was living in Tiverton, Devon, hit the headlines last week when she disappeared with Neon. Both she and her son were found safe after a judge ordered a search. Ms Roberts, who now lives in Brighton, East Sussex, later apologised for vanishing and said that she had panicked.

She told Daybreak that she was not adamantly opposed to giving her son radiotherapy treatment. She said: "I have been asking the whole time, 'Please show me evidence that he does need this treatment'.

"The only thing they can come up with is a study from the 1940s. It's just radiotherapy, this is how we do it, chemotherapy - they haven't been exploring other options."

Ms Roberts said she had been contacted by medical professionals supporting her belief that there are other options to treat her son. Speaking about why she was so against her son receiving radiotherapy, she said: "Because it damages your DNA.

"I feel we can still save his life. I'm incredibly confident. That's exactly why I don't just want to race into radiotherapy." She said her son has no idea about the furore surrounding his treatment, saying he just does not want to go back to hospital.

Neon's father, who lives in London and is separated from Ms Roberts, was "open" to her approach to dealing with his condition, she added. She said: "The whole time he has been saying that if you can come up with other medics and doctors who are backing you and agreeing, then of course. He just wants the best for Neon."

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