Home Office Released ‘Life-Saving’ Cannabis Oil To Epileptic Boy

by : Francesca Donovan on : 16 Jun 2018 13:08
Home Office Released Life-Saving Cannabis Oil To Epileptic BoyHome Office Released Life-Saving Cannabis Oil To Epileptic BoyPA

In a ground-breaking decision, the Home Office has today released life-saving cannabis oil to an epileptic boy after it was confiscated on Monday June 11.


Billy Caldwell, 12, and his mum Charlotte have been campaigning to get his ‘life-saving’ medicine back, after it was seized at Heathrow airport on Monday.

Billy was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on Friday after his seizures ‘intensified’, his mum claims, as a direct result of his cannabis oil being taken away.

Billy Caldwell after cannabis oil confiscatedBilly Caldwell after cannabis oil confiscatedbillysbud/Facebook

His distraught mother Charlotte said she would hold the Home Office and MP Nick Heard ‘accountable if Billy dies’, after travelling a round-trip to Toronto and back with her sick son to get a six-month supply of the cannabis oil.


They brought back enough medicine to treat up to 100 seizures a day, but said border officials seized the oil.

Today, Saturday June 16, the Home Office reversed that decision.

Home Secretary sajid javidHome Secretary sajid javid@sajidjavid/Twitter

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:

This morning, I’ve used an exceptional power as Home Secretary to urgently issue a licence to allow Billy Caldwell to be treated with 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.

Charlotte Caldwell and her son Billy outside the Home Office in London ahead of a meeting with Minister of State Nick Hurd, about cannabis oilCharlotte Caldwell and her son Billy outside the Home Office in London ahead of a meeting with Minister of State Nick Hurd, about cannabis oilPA

He continued:

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.


Speaking outside the hospital today, Charlotte said:

Unfortunately, Billy had two more seizures overnight which has pushed him more into a crisis situation.

The Home Office, myself and my team have been working extremely hard throughout the night to make this happen, which is truly amazing.

But there can only be one conclusion here: that my beautiful sweet little boy, who has a life-threatening form of epilepsy and one seizure can kill him, he needs his medicine back today.

Charlotte credits the oil with keeping her sick son’s seizures at bay, saying he was seizure-free for more than 300 days while on the medication, Metro reports.

She added doctors in Canada and Northern Ireland familiar with Billy’s case said the situation was life-threatening.

She’s not the only mother fighting for the best treatment for her child:

The child, from Castlederg in Co Tyrone, started the treatment in 2016 in the US, where medical marijuana is legal.


He became the first person in the UK to receive a prescription from his local GP in Northern Ireland, Brendan O’Hare.

O’Hare was ordered to stop by Home Office officials, so Charlotte was forced to make the trip to Canada.

She said:

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.

Luckily, for now, Billy has the medication he needs. Let’s hope he recovers from the latest seizures soon.

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Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Health


  1. Metro

    Home Office ‘set to return’ cannabis oil after boy left ‘fighting for life’