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12-Year-Old With Epilepsy Hospitalized After Four Days of Being Deprived of CBD Oil

In the four days since border officials took away his medication, Billy Caldwell’s condition has become critical.

A.J. Herrington

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12-Year-Old With Epilepsy Hospitalized After Four Days of Being Deprived of CBD Oil
Courtesy of Charlotte Caldwell/ Facebook

Paramedics have rushed young Billy Caldwell to the hospital after the boy suffered a series of epileptic seizures. British media is reporting that rescue medications failed to bring 12-year-old Billy out of “a massive intractable epileptic seizure.”

First responders transported Billy to St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington on Thursday night. He is now unconscious and fighting for his life at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.

The U.K. government has the medicine that could save his life, but won’t give it to the sick boy.

“My son is dying. They are letting him die,” said Billy’s mother Charlotte Caldwell. “The only thing that can save him, his anti-epileptic medication, is sitting on a desk in the Home Office out of our reach.”

Since 2016, Billy has used a cannabis oil medicine known as Tilray to treat his severe epilepsy.  The main active ingredient of the medication is CBD. But it also has enough THC to make it a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the U.K. Billy began his treatment in the United States, and then became the first U.K. patient to receive a prescription for medicinal cannabis from the National Health Service last year.

However, last month the British government ended those prescriptions. So, with just one dose of Billy’s medicine left, he and Charlotte flew to Canada for help. Once there, The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto replenished their supply of medicine.

Border Agents Took Boy’s Medicine at Airport

When Charlotte and Billy returned home to the U.K., border officials at Heathrow Airport confiscated the boy’s medicine. Despite Charlotte meeting with Home Office policing Minister Nick Hurd twice to plead Billy’s case, the government has failed to return Billy’s medication to him.

Although Billy had been doing quite well while taking his medicine, without it things quickly changed. Within hours of his first missed dose, Billy had his first seizure in months. A series of several more seizures followed.

When officials confiscated Billy’s medicine at the airport, Charlotte vowed defiance.

“I will just go back to Canada and get more and I will bring it back again because my son has a right to have his anti-epileptic medication in his country, in his own home,” she said.

But with Billy’s condition deteriorating so rapidly, Charlotte is now afraid that she and Billy have run out of options.

“This is beyond cruelty. We’ve now reached the point where Billy is too ill to travel to get his medication, but his medication is stored minutes away from where we’re now living in London,” said Charlotte Caldwell.

Charlotte praised the healthcare professionals who are treating Billy but is afraid that without his medicine, their efforts may be in vain. If that’s case, she made it clear who she will hold responsible.

“Despite the best and honest efforts of the NHS, frontline doctors are fighting Billy’s condition with both hands tied behind their back because the only medication that will be effective is the cannabis oil with CBD and THC. Those meds need to be released immediately. If Billy dies, which is looking increasingly possible, then the Home Office and Nick Hurd will be held completely accountable.”

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