Eva Williams: PM pledges to help girl travel for cancer treatment
Boris Johnson has said he would look at what help can be offered to a nine-year-old girl who needs to fly to the United States for cancer treatment.
The family of Eva Williams, who has a brain tumour, raised £250,000 for a new trial for their “trooper”.
But the schoolgirl from Marford, Wrexham, has been unable to travel due to coronavirus lockdown measures.
Eva’s father Paul Slapa said she was “amazed” to hear the prime minister mention her name in Parliament.
Her plight was raised by the Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
Ms Atherton described Eva as a “beautiful and brave nine-year-old girl” and praised her constituents for rallying round her.
She asked the prime minister if he would “work with the family to look at ways Eva can access treatment”.
Boris Johnson replied: “Our thoughts are very much with Eva, her family and we will of course look at everything we can do to support her travel arrangements.”
Eva was diagnosed with a high-grade diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma in the new year, and has been undergoing radiotherapy treatment to shrink the tumour.
Her parents Paul Slapa and Carran Williams started a fundraising campaign to access the trial treatment in the US, and managed to raise the money in the space of three weeks.
They had been originally due to take part in the trial in New York in April.
But then Covid-19 measures saw international flight bans and travel restrictions imposed.
The family have been told by Eva’s consultant at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool that she is still eligible for treatment in the US, once she is in a position to travel.
The family used social media to thank their MP for raising the issue, saying they were looking forward to the prime minister following up the intervention “and helping us get Eva the treatment she deserves”.
Mr Slapa told BBC Radio Wales the fact the question was raised gave the campaign “a real boost.”
“Eva was amazed the Prime Minister said her name in Parliament. She immediately text all her friends so that was nice to see her smiling about that,” Mr Slapa said.
“She’s a trooper, she battles on. She enjoys playing like any other nine-year-old child will. She’s in good spirits generally.”