Tyrone boy in hospital after medicinal cannabis seized in Heathrow

Tyrone boy in hospital after medicinal cannabis seized in Heathrow

The U.K. government has granted a severely epileptic boy the right to use illegal cannabis oil to treat his condition, after the treatment was confiscated from his mother.

Billy Caldwell, 12, is in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital receiving treatment Saturday while his mother Charlotte Caldwell lobbies for the return of cannabis oil seized by authorities at London Heathrow Airport when she brought it back from Canada Monday.

She said Billy suffered two severe seizures overnight and that the cannabis oil is the only substance that can prevent life-threatening seizures for him.

Charlotte Caldwell and her son were stopped by customs officials on Monday when they returned from Canada, where they had flown to get the medication.

Doctors said it was too unsafe to treat him with "rescue meds" at home and he can now be treated only with hospital-administered medicine.

The Home Office did not comment.

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Home Secretary Mr Javid said the decision was taken after doctors made clear it was a "medical emergency".

"No other family should have to go through this sort of ordeal, travelling half way round the world to get medication which should be freely available", she said.

Now the medication had been released by the Home Office and is on its way to the hospital where the youngster is being treated.

On Saturday Sajid Javid, the home secretary, announced he had used an exceptional power to urgently issue a license allowing Caldwell to use cannabis oil.

Cannabis oil is banned in Britain.

She added doctors in Canada and Northern Ireland familiar with Billy's case said the situation was life-threatening.

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The child, from Castlederg in Co Tyrone, started the treatment in 2016 in the U.S., where medical marijuana is legal.

The boy was hospitalized on Friday after suffering several seizures.

Billy, from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, was given a prescription for medicinal cannabis oil past year to help treat his epilepsy - the first time the drug had been prescribed by the NHS. On his medication, which included the vital but banned THC component, he was seizure-free for more than 300 days.

However, there is no record of a health service prescription being dispensed.

She said: "If Billy dies, which is looking increasingly possible, then the Home Office, and (minister) Nick Hurd, will be held completely accountable".

Billy's family later said he can now only be treated with hospital-administered medication as doctors said it was too risky to treat him with "rescue meds" at home.

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'Billy is in the care of medical professionals who are best placed to assess the care and treatment that he requires.

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