Billy Caldwell, a 12 year old boy from Castlederg suffering from severe epilepsy, was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital via ambulance this afternoon after suffering a number of seizures.
“Billy has had back-to-back seizures today,” Charlotte Caldwell, his mother said. “On his medication, which included the vital but banned THC component, he was seizure-free for more than 300 days.”
Charlotte who has fought tirelessly to secure medication for Billy for a number of years has said that doctors back home and in Canada have said that his case is now life threatening. She said that the Home Office would be held accountable if he died.
At the start of this week they had six months’ worth of medicine confiscated by customs agents on their arrival in London from Canada.
Charlotte subsequently met with Home Office Minister Nick Hurd who told her the medicine would not be returned.
After more than 300 days seizure free the Home Office ordered that Billy’s doctor stop prescribing cannabis oil.
Tonight the Home Office responded to Billy’s admission to hospital by saying that
“We are deeply sympathetic to the extremely difficult situation that Billy and his family are in.
“Billy is in the care of medical professionals who are best placed to assess the care and treatment that he requires.”
“The Home Office is contacting Billy’s medical team.
“If the team treating Billy advise a particular course of urgent action, the Home Office will carefully consider what options are available to help facilitate that advice.”
That last comment may offer some hope that the Home Office will show some flexibility so that Billy can get the treatment that he has been cruelly denied. The current law and policy is callous, inhumane and totally out of step with public opinion.
There are growing calls for Nick Hurd, the Home Office Minister who told Charlotte Caldwell that the medication would not be returned, to act and ensure that Billy gets the medication he needs to save his life.
The Daily Mirror has now reported that the Home Office has agreed to return the medicinal cannabis oil to Billy under supervision of a neurologist.
A Home Office source told the newspaper
“The licence is being fast-tracked by government officials and we hope Billy will have his oil returned to him this weekend.
“He is safe at the moment in hospital and his mum is with him but he was in a really bad situation earlier and home care is not enough now if he has an other seizure.”