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Epileptic boy, 12, will get cannabis oil

A severely epileptic boy whose mother fought for him to be treated with cannabis oil has been granted it by the Home Office.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said Billy Caldwell, 12, will receive the oil after doctors made clear it was a “medical emergency”.

Billy began using cannabis oil in 2016 to control his seizures.

His most recent supply was confiscated at Heathrow Airport on Monday and he was later admitted to hospital.

Charlotte Caldwell, Billy’s mother, had previously said it was “beyond cruelty” that her son had no access to the anti-epileptic medication.

On Saturday, Mr Javid said he had issued a licence to allow Billy to be treated with the cannabis oil.

“This is a very complex situation, but our immediate priority is making sure Billy receives the most effective treatment possible in a safe way,” he 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.

“The policing minister met with the family on Monday and since then has been working to reach an urgent solution.”

Billy, from Castlederg, started the treatment in 2016 in the US, where medical marijuana is legal.

In 2017, he was prescribed the medication on the NHS. But in May this year, his GP was told he could no longer prescribe it.

At the time the Department of Health in Northern Ireland said cannabis had not yet been licensed in the UK as a medicine.

Last Monday, Ms Caldwell tried to bring a six-month supply of the oil – to treat up to 100 seizures a day – into the UK from Canada but the substance was confiscated by officials at Heathrow airport.

His family said he was taken to hospital when his seizures “intensified” in recent days.

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BBC News – Health