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12-year-old Billy, who suffers from severe epileptic seizures, was rushed to a hospital in London on Friday after medicine containing cannabis oil that he had been using was confiscated from his mother when she tried to bring it into the United Kingdom from Canada.

After Billy suffered "life-threatening" seizures without access to his supply, Javid issued a special licence to provide him with treatment.

It's understood the oil's being sent to his London hospital.

Billy's most recent supply, which came from Canada, was confiscated when he and his mother arrived at Heathrow airport from Toronto.

Billy was prescribed the medication on the NHS in 2017, but in May this year his GP was told he could no longer prescribe it because the Department of Health in Northern Ireland said cannabis had not yet been licensed in the United Kingdom as a medicine.

Charlotte Caldwell, of Castlederg in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, said the youngster was showing signs of improvement after receiving three doses of the drug at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. But the doctor stopped prescribing cannabis oil after being warned by the Home Office.

"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".

She says her son's seizures dramatically reduce when he takes the oil, which contains a substance called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is illegal in the UK.

After the government agreed to permit the treatment, Charlotte Caldwell said Saturday that she and her supporters had "achieved the impossible" and called for a rules change to allow other children needing cannabis oil to use it legally.

"The seizures the boy is now suffering are ones directly caused by the Government".

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"My experience leaves me in no doubt that the Home Office can no longer play a role in the administration of medication for sick children in our country".

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We are deeply sympathetic to the extremely hard situation that Billy and his family are in".

"I truly believe that somewhere in the Home Office there's someone with a heart and I truly believe that Billy was pulling on their heart strings", she added.

She said her son was too ill to travel to Canada to get his medication.

A family spokesman said on Saturday: "The medication that she brought into the country and was confiscated, this medication is on the way to the hospital".

Crispin Blunt, a Conservative, said current laws were based on an "outdated" view of cannabis' medicinal value.

The case has revived the debate over medical marijuana use in Britain.

On Monday, Caldwell, 50, from Castlederg, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, flew with the boy and a six-month supply of the medication used to treat up to 100 seizures a day into the United Kingdom airport from Toronto, Canada.

Billy became the first person in the United Kingdom to receive a prescription after his local GP in Northern Ireland, Brendan O'Hare, began writing scripts.


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