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Billy’s brother says fight for law change continues

Kyle Moore and Billy Caldwell.

THE brother of the 12-year-old Castlederg boy, Billy Caldwell was celebrating this week as it was confirmed there is to be a review into the laws controlling medicinal cannabis.

Kyle Moore said this drug had changed Billy’s life.

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Not only did it result in Billy going over 300 days without a life-threatening epileptic seizure, it also allowed his personality to shine as he embraced his new lease of life.

That life was almost taken away again when this vital medication was “recklessly stopped” last week. A mere day without his THC medicinal cannabis, Billy suffered his first seizure in almost a year.

With Billy hospitalised, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid intervened to return three weeks’ worth of his medication which had been seized at Heathrow airport.

Billy’s condition immediately improved and was discharged from Hospital in London on Monday evening.

However, this is only a temporary license and Billy’s family is still fighting for a change to the law to make THC medicinal cannabis legal for all. This fight was boasted significantly on Tuesday when Mr Javid announced he was initiating this review.

Kyle said, “It is unbelievable news as Billy was only given 20 days worth of his medicine. The rest (six months worth) is still with customs. This is only a temporary measure so this review has to be fast-tracked and change brought around to bring a long-term solution for Billy and so many others. It is great to see other families come forward and join the fight to bring about change that will give, not just Billy long-term stability, but thousands of other children with epilepsy and debilitating illnesses which are proven around the world to benefit from medicinal cannabis.

“One day off his medication and Billy suffered his first seizures in over 300 days. It was so reckless of them to take it from him so abruptly. It is also proof how valuable this medication is to him. It was a bureaucratic decision, not a medical decision. It is time the UK caught up with the rest world and legalise medicinal cannabis and improve the lives of countless people.”

Kyle described these last few weeks as a “complete rollercoaster”.

“We have been campaigning to get Billy the best possible treatment for the past 11 years, travelling back and forth to America to get expert diagnosis. That led to finding a drug that actually worked, prescribed by a world leading epiloptologist in America. Billy’s personality was shining and he was having a better quality of life.

“Then it felt like the rug was pulled from under our feet when we received the bombshell the medication was being stopped and we had to start the fight and campaign yet again to get Billy the best treatment possible.

“This time that fight has grabbed the attention of the world. We have been fighting for 11 years since Billy was first sent home from hospital given no hope of life. Now he is about to celebrate his 13th birthday next month and the fight is still continuing.

“Billy has overcome every obstacle and hurdle put in front of him and we will continue all our efforts to ensure he gets the best care and medication possible to give him the best chance of life and quality of life.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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