Capital mum’s fresh hope in cannabis battle

Karen Gray with her son Murray
Karen Gray with her son Murray
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A LOVING mum seeking medical cannabis to help her five-year-old son’s epilepsy has said “all children” suffering with seizures should be given the oil.

Mum-of-three Karen Gray, from East Craigs, was speaking to the Evening News on the back of Home Secretary Sajid Javid granting a 20-day emergency licence for 12-year-old Billy Caldwell from Northern Ireland to receive the treatment.

Karen’s son Murray, a P1 pupil at Clermiston Primary School was diagnosed with myoclonic astatic epilepsy at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children last December after suffering 12 seizures in one month.

A petition organised by Karen with help from activists 38 Degrees attracted an incredible 170,000 signatures and was handed into Downing Street with the aim of triggering debate around the issue.

The use of medicinal cannabis also known as Cannabidiol (CBD) will now be reviewed, which could lead to more prescriptions of drugs made from the plant, the home secretary confirmed yesterday. However Sajid Javid stressed the drug, which includes the psychoactive ingredient THC, would remain banned for recreational use.

Karen said: “I feel we’re getting closer and there are loads of families now stepping up and asking for medicinal cannabis to be made available on the NHS, especially those with children who suffer epilepsy seizures.

“The case of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley show that the oil helps with the seizures and can stop them.

“So, obviously I believe all children with seizures should be given the chance to use this and it is giving me a bit of hope with Murray because I’ve been campaigning for months now to get him it and I’ve done my research.”

Karen said her local MP Christine Jardine was meeting with Home Office minister Nick Hurd to discuss Murray’s case.

She will be speaking to his neurologist about the recent developments with regards to emergency licence and the decision to review the use of medical cannabis.

Karen added: “I’ll be pushing to get the CBD oil but I think what Murray will need is the oil with a little bit of THC in it – so it’s just a case of micro-dosing and seeing what works.

“This is the whole point of medical cannabis it’s got a little bit of THC in it that will stop the seizures and I think all the kids who suffer from the condition need that little bit of THC in their oil. The fact is Murray’s on so many drugs just now that cause side-effects.

“He won’t be going back on the ketamine, it did nothing for him”.

Lib Dems MP Christine Jardine, said: “We cannot go on with a situation where every patient who could benefit from these treatments has to lobby the Home Office individually. Even Conservative establishment figures like Lord Hague are finally recognising this situation is not sustainable.”