Northern Irish mum faces arrest over cannabis oil she bought in Canada to treat ill son's seizures
News

Northern Irish mum faces arrest over cannabis oil she bought in Canada to treat ill son's seizures

A MUM from Northern Ireland could face arrest at Heathrow Airport today over cannabis oil she is attempting to bring back to the UK to help treat her ill son's seizures.

Charlotte Caldwell from Castlederg, County Tyrone, flew to Toronto with her son last week to purchase the oil that has helped reduce the number of potentially deadly epileptic seizures suffered by her young son Billy.

The 12-year-old, who can suffer anywhere up to 100 seizures a day, made headlines last year when he became the first UK patient to receive an NHS prescription for medicinal cannabis - but his situation has since changed.

Last month, the Home Office put a stop to Billy's prescriptions, forcing his mother Charlotte to take drastic action.

Together with her son, they flew out to Canada to seek help from The Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto.

Advertisement

Specialists at the Canadian hospital subsequently placed Billy on an ongoing clinical trial for the medication, while they await a peer review.

However, the early data does support the use of medicinal cannabis oil in patients with a condition like Billy's.

Charlotte was supplied with the oil and flew from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Heathrow Terminal 5 on Monday.

Anger

Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph, she hit out at "faceless civil servants" who moved to block Billy's supply of the drug and added that she had been given little alternative.

"I'm worried about breaking the law but I'd rather have Billy illegally medicated and alive than unmedicated and legally dead," she said during an interview in Toronto.

"What mother should have to make that choice?"

Advertisement

If Charlotte and Billy make it through customs and immigration and can pass through after declaring the Cannabis oil, then it could represent a landmark moment.

Several other families in similar situations with ill children and relatives are calling for the Home Secretary to change the laws currently in place.

Charlotte has previously flown to Dublin with Billy before driving across the border into Northern Ireland, declaring THC cannabis oil at customs in the process.

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, must now decide how to respond to her actions and whether a change in the law is required.