Belfast Telegraph

Billy Caldwell's mum says Home Office was 'panicked into action' when her son became unwell

Charlotte Caldwell with son Billy, who has acute epilepsy (Yui Mok/PA)
Charlotte Caldwell with son Billy, who has acute epilepsy (Yui Mok/PA)

The British Government was "panicked into action" after Northern Ireland boy Billy Caldwell became ill when his cannabis oil medication was confiscated at Heathrow, his mother has claimed.

Billy, who is 12-years-old, has epilepsy and suffers severe seizures. He had been taking cannabis oil prescribed by his doctor until the Home Office intervened to stop it.

Last week his mother returned from Canada and had the life-saving medication taken from her. Billy was later rushed to hospital on Friday after his debilitating seizures returned.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid used emergency powers to allow the child to have one bottle released for treatment on Saturday.

The schoolboy was discharged from hospital on Monday.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid (Dominic Lipinkski/PA)

Billy's mother, Charlotte Caldwell, has questioned why the government only took action when Billy became unwell again.

She said: "The government was panicked into action when my son was rushed to hospital last Friday but ultimately, they have responded very encouragingly.

"The speed with which Billy came back from the edge was testament to the effectiveness of the meds.

"But it's not over yet for the hundreds of families who are also affected.

"Many questions remain unanswered, and only the Health Secretary and Home Secretary can answer them.

Charlotte Caldwell and her son Billy at Heathrow Airport after having a supply of cannabis oil used to treat his severe epilepsy confiscated on their return from Canada (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

She added: "I have written to them both, asking to meet, but they have said, once again, there is a process to go through.

"I have already witnessed how the glacial process of Government can put children in danger.

"We cannot afford any more time wasting process.

"I need to meet the Ministers and maintain the momentum. Lives will be both saved and changed immeasurably."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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