Belfast Telegraph

Billy Caldwell in hospital after suffering seizure

Charlotte Caldwell with her son Billy in Belfast yesterday
Charlotte Caldwell with her son Billy in Belfast yesterday

Billy Caldwell has been taken to hospital after suffering from a seizure on Friday morning.

The 12-year-old is currently undergoing assessment by doctors at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

His mother Charlotte claimed she was told by two hospital clinicians that the seizure was most likely down to stress and tiredness provoked by the continuous movement between hotels and hospitals.

The pair returned to Northern Ireland on Thursday after weeks of campaigning to get Billy access to his cannabis oil medication.

Billy suffers from severe epilepsy and last month a 20-day emergency licence was granted for Billy after he was admitted to hospital in a critical condition having suffered multiple seizures.

The Belfast Trust has been granted a licence for the medicine but Billy must receive his two doses a day at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The hospital is a two-hour drive from the Caldwell home in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

It is understood that negotiations remain ongoing within government departments to secure a longer-term solution.

"Billy is high-spectrum autistic. Every doctor on the planet knows that he should be having familiarity and order in his life - his toys, his garden, his bed, his home," Ms Caldwell said.

"Instead he's being forced to endure the exact opposite."

The Belfast Telegraph has contacted the Department of Health for a response to Ms Caldwell's comments.

The Belfast Trust said: "Billy’s welfare is our priority and the Trust is working very hard with the Department of Health to put in place the necessary arrangements for Billy to receive his medication at home from early next week. This is a very complex and sensitive matter and a number of issues still have to be finalised. We have this afternoon met with Charlotte Caldwell and have advised her of the situation

Earlier this week a department of health spokeswoman said: “The Department has authorised a 14-day emergency licence to the Belfast Trust to allow for the treatment of Billy Caldwell which replicates the arrangements of the emergency licence issued by the Home Office last month.

“All of these matters require careful consideration and involve clinical and legal considerations. The granting of the emergency licence today reflects the clinical need to ensure continuity of treatment for Billy, given his mother’s decision to bring him home.”

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