He has had brain surgery and tried many anti-epileptic drugs but nothing was helping his seizures. Miss Quarrell, 38, told the BBC’s Disclosure: Can Cannabis Save My Child? she has spent thousands on trips to bring the drug back illegally. She said: “I’d sell my house. I would. I can’t let him get sicker. I need to get him better. There’s nothing else for it.” The desperate mum left policing five years ago to look after Cole, who was diagnosed with severe epilepsy as a baby and suffers up to 16 seizures a day.
She said: “He’ll convulse, he’ll click in his mouth, his eyes will roll back, he’ll drop to the floor with no notice.
“It’s the most heart-breaking thing to watch.
“Two-and-a-half minutes has never felt so long when you’re watching your child take a seizure.
“Cole had never had a dream because he didn’t get to sleep long enough or deep enough to ever have a dream.”
Miss Quarrell decided to travel to the Netherlands after reading about children like Alfie Dingley and Sophia Gibson, who both take medical cannabis only available there.
After finding a Dutch doctor who would prescribe Bedrolite – which contains the active ingredient THC – she has been bringing the drug back to Scotland since March.
She said: “I’ve just walked through the airport and seen police officers I used to work with, knowing that I’m about to pick up my baggage that’s got an illegal drug in it, which is just so far beyond my imagination I can’t tell you.”
She has been fundraising and travelling to the Netherlands with Karen Gray, 44, from Edinburgh.
They estimate they have spent about £15,000 in total.
Miss Gray is bringing the same product back for her six-year-old son, Murray, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy called Doose Syndrome.
He was having up to 12 seizures a day and the strong medication left him lying in a “vegetative state” in hospital.
His mum said: “He can be awake but he’s probably not aware that anyone’s there. He can’t swallow, he can’t eat, he can’t talk, he can’t move. He can’t do anything.”
In January 2019, Murray’s condition got worse and he was admitted to hospital, where he spent most of his time until May.
Miss Gray said: “I honestly thought, ‘That’s it, he’s going to die. How can anybody survive this?’”
Although Murray spent most of this year in hospital, he is now back in school for a few hours a day.
Miss Gray convinced this change is due to the Bedrolite.
Although medical cannabis was decriminalised in the UK last November, it is virtually impossible to get products containing THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
The British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) says there is “no high-quality evidence” to support the use of THC, which gives users the feeling of being “high”.
Dr Finbar O’Callaghan, from the BPNA, told Disclosure: “The NHS are only going to pay for products where there’s evidence of efficacy and safety.”
Tracey Gillies, the medical director for NHS Lothian, said they could not discuss individual cases.
She said hospital could not turn a blind eye to parents dosing their children with cannabis, adding: “There would be a child protection issue to be consider.”
According to the Home Office, it is illegal to bring the product into the country without an import licence.
Full story is available here.