Teenager who had 300 seizures a day is first in UK treated with NHS-funded cannabis


A teenager who once had 300 seizures a day has become the first person in the UK to be treated with NHS-funded medical cannabis.

A courier delivered the small precious package to the home of Charlotte Caldwell, who has waged a four-year campaign to get the drug for son Billy, 15.

She said: “The final battle’s over and the war’s won.

“It’s been exhaus­ting with many false dawns.

“There were times I feared we’d just keel over and die.

“But we took one day at a time.”

Billy, who has epilepsy, started cannabis oil treatment in the US in 2016.

In June 2018, officials at Heathrow seized privately prescribed cannabis he and his mum were bringing back from Canada.

Within five days, Billy was hit by potentially deadly back-to-back seizures and the Government used special powers to allow him to be treated with the oil.

Five months later, the law changed – but Charlotte’s fight was still not over.

The mum, of Castlederg, Co Tyrone, explained: “The law was written in such a way that doctors feared putting their name to prescriptions.

“It took me another two years with a team of supporters to find a way to get Billy’s prescription and NHS funding.”

Charlotte claimed officials had “made her life hell” by threatening legal action.

But she added: “Today Billy is very well, growing, maturing, playing and happy.”