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Lisa & Karen, mothers of two 6-year-olds who suffer from severe epilepsy, smuggles cannabis oil illegally in the U.K.

Lisa with her son

Image Source: BBC NEWS

Former police officer, Lisa Quarrell struggles to get the proper medication for her son who suffers from severe epilepsy. She began smuggling a cannabis product into Scotland hoping the drug would help improve her son’s condition.

Lisa, from East Kilbride, travelled to the Netherland to bring a medical CBD oil to give her 6-year-old son Cole. The young kid has already had a brain surgery and tried several anti-epileptic drugs, but nothing is helping him with his seizures.

kate from BBC explained, Lisa desperately wants to help her son and says that she would even sell her house if she has to save him. He can’t get any sicker and she wants him to be better. She has already spent thousands of pounds on bringing the illegal drug in the country. However, her struggling days could be over after Cole was prescribed CBD oil legally by a private London hospital.

Lisa, 38, left police forces five years ago to look after Cole, who was diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy as a baby. He could have up to 16 seizures in 24 hours, most of which would happen at night. Lisa explained how he would convulse, click in his mouth, roll his eyes back and even drop to the floor without any notice.

Lisa says that the two and a half minutes for which Cole has a seizure are the worst and the longest two and a half minutes of her life. It’s painful to see your child like that. She even said that Cole had never had a dream because he didn’t get to sleep long enough to have a dream ever.

Cole’s condition deteriorated over time. He missed 8 weeks of school earlier this year because of the increasingly severe seizures and was finally fitted in a wheelchair.

Lisa has been fundraising and travelling to the Netherlands with Karen Gray,44 from Edinburg. It was only after hearing stories of children like Sophia Gibson and Alfie Dingley, did she make the decision to go to Netherlands and find a GP who would prescribe the drug.

Karen is bringing back the same product for her 6-year-old son, Murray, who has a rare and severe form of epileptic disorder known as Doose Syndrome. Like Cole, Murray also has seizures, up to 12 a day. He was put on strong medication which led to him lying in a “vegetative state” in the hospital says Karen.

His condition worsened in January 2019, when he was admitted to hospital and spent most of his time there until May. Murray is now back to his school for few hours a day. Karen, like Lisa is convinced that the cannabis oil has brought this positive change in her son.

Though the health board responsible for Murray’s case said they could not discuss it, Tracey Gillies, the medical director for NHS Lothian spoke about the consequences if parents admit to dosing their own children. She said that the hospital has to ensure that proper steps are being taken to take care of the child as safely as possible and discuss it with others who have an interest in safeguarding children.

She said the hospital can’t turn a blind eye and a child protection issue would be considered in such cases. According to the Home Office, it is illegal to bring CBD oil in the country without an import license. Bedrocan is the sole supplier of a medical cannabis oil named Bedrolite to the Dutch government’s office for medicinal pruposes.

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Bedrolite mainly consists of 2 compounds – CBD and THC. While CBD or cannabinoid has anti-inflammatory properties and helps deal with stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, swelling, epileptic fits, seizures and even Alzheimer’s, THC or tetra hydro cannabinoid is a psychoactive compound which produces mind altering effects and gives a sense of “high”.

These products were not legal up until November 2018, after which all cannabis medicines were removed from Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations to Schedule 2, to recognise the medicines were effective and indeed beneficial for some patients.

Legally, doctors can prescribe products like Bedrolite, which contain the psychoactive compound THC. Another cannabis drug which contains only CBD is known as Epidiolex, which is available in the UK under a compassionate access programme run by its manufacturer GWPharma.

Karen, whose son Murray tried Epidiolex said that the drug worked absolutely brilliantly but stopped working after just 3 months for some reason

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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