- A twelve-year-old boy from County Tyrone, Ireland received his supply of Cannabis Oil after it was confiscated by customs at Heathrow Airport on Monday.
- The boys mother, Charlotte Caldwell, deemed the return of her child’s life-saving drugs as a special moment in history, after doctors made an expedited effort to have the items returned.
- Caldwell: “My experience leaves me in no doubt that the Home Office can no longer play a role in the administration of medication for sick children in our country…Children are dying in our country and it needs to stop now.”
A boy with severe epilepsy has been given back medicinal cannabis oil that was confiscated from his mother at customs, the home secretary has said.
Billy Caldwell, 12, received the oil after doctors made clear it was a “medical emergency”, Sajid Javid said.
Billy’s mother, Charlotte Caldwell, from County Tyrone, said they had “achieved the impossible” but called for the oil to be freely available.
Billy began using cannabis oil in 2016 to control his seizures.
The cannabis oil, which contains a substance called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is illegal in the UK but available elsewhere.
Billy’s most recent supply – which Ms Caldwell had tried to bring into the UK from Canada – was confiscated at Heathrow Airport on Monday and he was admitted to hospital before Mr Javid said it would be returned.
The oil arrived at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where Billy is being treated, on Saturday afternoon. It was administered under a special 20-day licence and is not allowed to be taken home.
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said it was an “exceptional licence” for a “short term emergency” and it would need to be reviewed.
Ms Caldwell said: “I truly believe that somewhere in the Home Office there’s someone with a heart, and I truly believe that Billy was pulling on their heart strings.”
But she said Billy’s “little body has been completely broken and his little mind”.
“No other family should have to go through this sort of ordeal, travelling half way round the world to get medication which should be freely available,” she said.
“My experience leaves me in no doubt that the Home Office can no longer play a role in the administration of medication for sick children in our country.
“Children are dying in our country and it needs to stop now.”
Mr Javid said he had issued a licence to allow Billy to be treated with the cannabis oil after discussions with Billy’s medical team.