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Northern Ireland boy travels to LA for CBD treatment

A child in Northern Ireland is enjoying miracle-like relief from his epilepsy, after starting a CBD oil treatment plan. Because cannabis oil and specifically CBD oil is illegal in the United Kingdom, the boy and his mother made the trip to Los Angeles, California, where he could finally be given the medication and appropriate care for his condition.

The improvements since starting treatment have been tremendous, and there is now hope that the child’s condition could be improved further still by brain surgery. Without visiting LA and consulting with doctors who had experience in treating the boy’s symptoms, it’s possible that he would have never had the quality of life that he is experiencing already.

Cannabis as medicine for rare epileptic seizures

Billy Caldwell was diagnosed with intractable and status epilepsy at just six months. Through his early years, the youngster from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland had to live with a form of epilepsy that was thought to be untreatable with pharmaceutical medication or changes to lifestyle. His quality of life was low, and doctors warned that Billy would probably not live until his first birthday.

However, his fiercely determined mother Charlotte was not about to give up, and made it her life’s commitment to ensure Billy was happy and could get access to treatment that would maybe help him.

Charlotte spent years researching epilepsy and studying how medical cannabis was becoming an option for patients in various pockets of the world as a medication for intractable epilepsy. CBD oil in particular caught the mother’s interest. Eventually, she decided to take Billy to the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital where he could be tried on cannabis oil medication.

After a few weeks’ worth of treatment, the results have been transformative. Billy is without a single seizure for more than a fortnight, a drastic reduction from the daily occurrence that they once were. Moreover, the lack of seizures has enhanced Billy’s quality of life, and allowed him to show more of his personality.

Charlotte says that it’s only now, with Billy aged 11, that she is getting to know the real Billy. She says he is more away and has developed a mischievous streak. His life is more balanced, and she credits all of it to the CBD medication.

Fighting for change

The Los Angeles doctors carried out more tests on Billy and worked out that with extensive brain surgery costing more than $400,000, his epileptic seizures could be cured for good. Billy has always been considered as a high-risk patient for SUDEP – sudden unexpected death in epilepsy patients – because he is prone to experiencing many of his seizures while sleeping. The long-term prognosis for Billy is uncertain without brain surgery.

However, Charlotte is optimistic that a good outcome will arise for Billy, despite having no immediate plan to source the funds. The CBD treatment has made a huge difference for Billy and has given him the power and strength to enjoy a better quality of life than ever before. His mother is hopeful that if they can get the brain surgery for Billy soon, that they will be able to go back to Northern Ireland.

Billy’s community back in County Tyrone are trying to come together to raise the money so that Billy can have the surgery he needs. So far, fundraisers have accumulated more than $125,000 – there remains a fair way to go, but it’s a promising start.

Kyle, Billy’s elder brother, is hoping to raise money by going on a 300-mile charity walk, with a backpack equivalent to the weight of his sibling. The march isn’t just so Billy can get treatment, but to help raise money to promote medical marijuana in Northern Ireland and make people aware of the need for legislative reform.

Kyle will stop off at Stormont and the Northern Ireland Assembly to deliver a letter to the country’s Health Minister about the necessity of legalizing medical cannabis products.

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