Belfast Live is reporting that Medical Cannabis patient Billy Caldwell’s mum is now able to treat him in Northern Ireland with full-spectrum cannabis oil produced locally.
Billy suffers with intractable epilepsy, a seizure disorder in which a patient’s seizures fail to come under control with traditional treatment.
Following medical cannabis treatment in Chicago and years of rehabilitation in Oxford, Billy was practically seizure free for the past eight or so years.
However recently his parents were forced to fly back the US to get him the lifesaving treatment he needed once again.
“Thankfully he has a specialist there and his treatment again was exceptional, and for the next eight weeks or so he is being treated back home with CannaKids CBD/THC medicinal cannabis oil which is a whole plant extract. It is the oil that is used, prescribed and sold in the US for kids like Billy. He takes 1ml four times a day and that has been keeping him safe”
They had previously been advised that there were no treatment options in the UK, and to make him comfortable, which is completely unacceptable when in the US they are treating children like Billy with cannabis oil.
Charlotte said: “My advise to parents with children who are as sick as Billy is, is to get out of Northern Ireland if the treatment you need is not here.
“But we’ve proved in the last 10 years and more than he was treatable and he didn’t have to die. After initial treatment in Chicago, Billy was seizure free for eight years but then he developed a lesion on his brain and the seizures started again last Summer.”
“I looked for help in the UK but there was none for Billy and I knew we had to get back to the US to get help.”
“The dedicated services I want for severely epileptic children do not exist in Northern Ireland, they simply are not available. We have paediatric neurologists who have an interest in epilepsy but I do not think that is enough”
“And today marks 22 days seizure free on that treatment and now thankfully we have access to the same oil on Irish and British soil.”
Until this week full spectrum medicinal cannabis oil has been illegal to buy and sell throughout the UK. However for the last few months Charlotte has been part of a team working on an oil supplement that can be procured legally inside the UK and Ireland from Irish company, Green Light Pharmaceuticals which has sites in Belfast and Dublin. Green Light Pharmaceuticals Pharmaceutical secured €500,000 in funding late last year to develop “breakthrough medicines” using cannabis extracts.
Charlotte said: “The fight for legally procured cannabis oil is over in Ireland and the UK. Since we broke the news of this on Belfast Live two days ago, Dr James Linden who’s procuring the oil said he has been inundated for requests.
Charlotte’s fight is now to convince the decisions-makers to provide Northern Ireland with a dedicated epileptologist who can deal with children and cases like Billy’s.
It feels like an important battle has been won, and hopefully Charlotte and other parents like her can now get the medical cannabis oil they need for their children who will benefit for it.
The question now is what does this mean for other medical cannabis patients in the UK? We will keep you updated with further developments.
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