Belfast Telegraph

Billy Caldwell's cannabis oil crusader mum creates parent guide

Billy Caldwell with mum Charlotte, who campaigned for her son to be allowed medicinal cannabis
Billy Caldwell with mum Charlotte, who campaigned for her son to be allowed medicinal cannabis
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

The Co Tyrone mother of severely epileptic Billy Caldwell has released a 'Mummies' Guide' to help others get access to medicinal cannabis.

Charlotte Caldwell, who became embroiled in a high-profile row with Home Office and Department of Health officials, is seeking to use her new-found platform to help secure equal access to the "life-changing" drug.

"As a parent, if you feel like your child could benefit from medicinal cannabis you will most likely have to go a few rounds with your child's doctor," she said.

"Right now UK doctors have unfortunately not been allowed to research or have any training on the medicine - so, go prepared."

In her advice, she urges parents to call the leading clinician dealing with their child's condition and make an urgent appointment.

She writes: "If they make up excuses that they can't see you urgently: insist, do not back down, stand your ground - your child must see that clinician urgently (the sooner you have secured an appointment with your clinician, the sooner the application form will go in and the sooner your child will get access to the medicine they so desperately need)."

She also suggests ways to overcome objections from hesitant GPs, which she described as the "hardest part" of the journey.

And the advice contains a list of responses to give to doctors who resist a child accessing medicinal cannabis.

Billy (12) is on his way home to Castlederg in Co Tyrone after the Home Office rubber-stamped a special exemption licence to allow his mother to administer the THC-based cannabis oil required to keep his seizures under control.

The Department of Health initiated the application process which was supported by the Home Office and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

"We are in the very final stages of what has been an amazing four weeks - I can barely believe we'll be home in a few days," Charlotte said.

The tireless campaigner has been fighting since UK customs officials confiscated the oil at Heathrow Airport when she attempted to bring it home from Toronto.

Charlotte said her resilient son, who "needs his toys", can't believe he'll be back in his own bed in just a few days.

Belfast Telegraph


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