THE mother of a severely epileptic boy whose life-saving prescription for medical cannabis has been denied has called for the individual behind the decision to come forward.
Two weeks ago, Charlotte Caldwell was devastated to discover her son Billy’s medicinal cannabis prescription, which helped the 12 year-old cope will over 100 epileptic seizures daily, had been denied after a letter was sent to his GP from the Home Office advising him to stop prescribing the drug.
According to Charlotte, this action is a ‘death warrant’ for her son and she is calling on whoever made the decision to come forward.
“I am making an appeal to the individual responsible for this decision to come forward,” she said. “Whether the individual is from the Home Office or Department of Health. I want to find out who is responsible for signing my son’s death warrant.
“When I heard that the prescription was revoked, I was horrified and my heart sunk. I know the consequences if he doesn’t get his medicine and his seizures will return. We aren’t looking to name and shame this person, but a wee boy’s life is at risk and that is what is important.”
In April of last year, Billy became the first person in the UK to receive an all-important medicinal cannabis oil prescription after a major campaign. Billy’s doctor, Castlederg GP Dr Brendan O’Hare, had initially prescribed the medicinal cannabis, but last week he was told that he should not continue to do so.
Speaking about the decision the GP explained there is an ‘ethical issue’ in not allowing Billy to have medicinal cannabis, and said the prescription was “not in support of the irresponsible use of products for ailments for which there is no evidence”.
“The reduction in Billy’s fit frequency is huge,” Dr O’Hare said. “This is not to open the floodgates for products, it is about one individual child.”
With just a limited amount of medicinal cannabis left for Billy, Charlotte says she feels let down by politicians and the Department of Health.
“It wasn’t a computer that made this decision. We have always been told to respect our politicians, and then this happens. I spoke with politicians previously and have worked hard to ensure Billy was the first person in the UK to receive this treatment. The oil has been a lifesaver, and we are asking for a solution so that individuals with the same afflictions can get the same treatment.
“Trying to get this for Billy has been a rollercoaster. We were exiled in America and fund-raised tooth and nail. You wouldn’t do this to an animal,” she added.
Posted: 7:00 pm June 2, 2018