Child has seizure hours after officials confiscate cannabis
A severely epileptic boy who had his medicinal cannabis oil confiscated at Heathrow on Monday has already had a seizure, his first in more than 250 days, his mother said yesterday.
Billy Caldwell, 12, had a fit after missing a dose for the first time in 19 months, Charlotte Caldwell said.
Billy, of Castlederg, Co Tyrone, started the treatment in America in 2016 after suffering up to 100 fits a day. Last year he became the first person in the UK to have the drug prescribed on the NHS. However, he ran out of it last week after the Home Office threatened to have the family’s GP disbarred if he prescribed more.
Ms Caldwell, 50, travelled to Canada to get a six-month supply but on Monday officers from the Border Force confiscated the supply on her return to the UK.
Speaking yesterday at a Families 4 Access Campaign press conference alongside other parents fighting for medicinal cannabis for their children, she said: “Billy missed his last treatment at 3.30pm yesterday.
This morning at 1.05am he had his first seizure, a small 30-second seizure. The Home Office should at least have the decency to try to work with me. They signed his death warrant. It’s anti-epilepsy medicine. Nothing else.”
Ms Caldwell said that Nick Hurd, a Home Office minister, had offered her nothing in a meeting held after the oil was seized. She urged him to arrange for the medication to be returned, adding: “I’m hopeful Nick Hurd is going to show my little boy some compassion.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “Whilst we recognise that people with debilitating illnesses are looking to alleviate their symptoms, Border Force has a duty to stop banned substances from entering the UK.”