The Home Office has agreed to release medicinal cannabis it confiscated from the mother of a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy.
Charlotte Caldwell tried to bring the medication into Heathrow Airport from the US in a last-ditch effort to treat her 12-year-old son Billy, but it was removed by border officials.
According to the BBC, the drug was delivered to Chelsea and Westiminster Hospital on Saturday where Billy was admitted after the drug was confiscated.
It was administered under a special 20-day licence and is not allowed to be taken home.
Sajid Javid, the home secretary, said he was using an ‘exceptional power’ to allow Billy to be treated, rather than changing the law to remove the drug’s illegal status, according to the Independent.
‘This is a very complex situation, but our immediate priority is making sure Billy receives the most effective treatment possible in a safe way, Mr Javid said.
‘We have been in close contact with Billy’s medical team overnight and my decision is based on the advice of senior clinicians who have made clear this is a medical emergency. ‘
Billy’s most recent supply – which Ms Caldwell had tried to bring into the UK from Canada – was confiscated at Heathrow Airport on Monday.
It arrived at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where Billy is being treated, on Saturday afternoon. It was administered under a special 20-day licence and is not allowed to be taken home.
A family spokesman said on Saturday: ‘The medication that she brought into the country and was confiscated, this medication is on the way to the hospital.’
Billy was rushed to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London after his epilepsy seizures ‘intensified’ this week.
His mother, from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, believes the deterioration in his condition was caused by the lack of cannabis oil, which was being prescribed by a UK doctor before he told the Home Office.
Billy Caldwell with his mother Charlotte. The 12-year-old is fighting for his life after being deprived of cannabis oil that helps prevent seizures. The Home Office has today agreed to return it to the family
She branded the Government’s actions as ‘beyond cruelty’ in a statement this week.
Her son suffers from intractable epilepsy which means his horrific seizures can last for hours, and he must be pumped with medicine to stop them.
The youngster became the first person to receive an NHS prescription for cannabis oil containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in 2017 after it was proven to dramatically reduce his seizures from as many as 100 per day.
He was first given the medical marijuana in Los Angeles where his mother Charlotte Caldwell took him for treatment a year ago.
When they returned to the UK Billy Caldwell doctor Brendan O’Hare continued with the prescriptions.
But when he informed the Home Office a year ago, they ordered him to stop.
Ms Caldwell previously told MailOnline: ‘Billy’s seizures are silent. I call them the silent killers.
‘He has status epilepsy which means he can’t come round from the seizure on his own, he needs medicine and oxygen because he starts turning blue. One seizure can kill him. If it doesn’t work I have to call 999.
‘Our house is 50 minutes from the hospital and they begin working on him in the back of the ambulance.
‘When we arrive I can’t go in and I have to sit outside while they give him medicine to try and bring him back.
‘The nurses are so lovely, they come and give me updates, and they tell me ‘we don’t know if we’ll get him back this time’.
‘One seizure lasted seven-and-a-half hours a few years back.’
Charlotte and Billy Caldwell in happier times. The 12-year-old was rushed to hospital after suffering a seizure
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