Edinburgh mum flies child to Holland for cannabis oil

Karen Gray at the Sick Kids with her son Murray Gray, 5, who is suffering from a rare form of epilepsy. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Karen Gray at the Sick Kids with her son Murray Gray, 5, who is suffering from a rare form of epilepsy. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A MUM will fly her boy to Holland tomorrow so he can get medical cannabis to stop his chronic seizures.

Karen Gray feels the government is not acting quick enough to aid children such as her five-year-old son Murray who suffers from myoclonic astatic epilepsy.

Despite handing in a petition, which attracted 238,000 signatures, into Downing Street to make the use of medicinal cannabis made available on the NHS, there has been no breakthrough.

With the Cannabidiol not being legal in the UK, the duo are now heading out to Holland to see a specialist on Monday who Karen hopes will prescribe the P1 pupil at Clermiston Primary School pupil with the treatment he “desperately needs”. They will also be joined by two other families with boys who are in the same situation as Murray. Karen, from East Craigs, said: “I can’t sit around and do 
nothing while Murray is suffering how he is. No treatment on the NHS has had an affect and this is the last resort. We have booked one-way flights and we plan to stay there until a neurologist applies for a licence in the UK. We have no idea how long we’ll be there for.

“We’re all in the same position and we all need to do what is best for our child. I feel like the petition has been picked up and thrown in the bin at the moment. We handed it in to Downing Street and since then we have seen little progress. These kids need treatment now.

“It seems to me that you need to have already been using cannabis oil and be able to prove without a doubt that it works before they will grant you a licence. It’s 178 Euros for 40 days so it is very expensive.

“Murray can’t wait until they decide what to do.”

The government announced an expert panel is now accepting applications for licences from senior doctors in the UK. The Home Office says they will make “swift” recommendations to ministers, who will sign off applications within two to four weeks. But a contributing factor in this is whether the medicinal cannabis has been tried, meaning families face going abroad to source it legally.

The families are hoping to follow in the steps of Hannah Deacon, 38, of Warwickshire, who last year took her son Alfie Dingley to the Netherlands and found that his condition significantly improved using the cannabis oil. The six-year-old, who also suffers from epilepsy, was eventually granted permission to use the drug in the UK after handing in a petition to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Karen has set up a 
crowdfunding page which has attracted more than £2k already to pay for flights and accommodation. The families will have the support of End Our Pain, a national campaign calling for a change in the law.

Peter Carroll, director of the campaign, said: “Karen and the other inspirational mothers just shouldn’t have to go through the stress of taking their sick children abroad to get a better chance of getting a ‘yes’ from this panel. They have more than enough coping with the illness itself. And they shouldn’t have to endure the stress of raising what to most people are huge sums of money. We’re determined to support them.”