Youngster with life-threatening epilepsy could receive cannabis treatment in days - The Leamington Observer

Youngster with life-threatening epilepsy could receive cannabis treatment in days

Leamington Editorial 19th Apr, 2018   0

THE FAMILY of a Kenilworth youngster who suffers with life-threatening epilepsy is hoping it will be a matter of days before he receives the cannabis treatment he desperately needs.

Following a lengthy campaign, the doctor of Alfie Dingley has applied to the Home Office for a licence to treat the six-year-old’s disorder with medical cannabis.

And during Prime Minister’s Questions this week Theresa May promised the department would look at the application as a matter of urgency.

The family recently took their fight to Downing Street where they met with Mrs May and handed in a 380,000 signature petition urging the government to allow the youngster access to cannabis oil to treat his rare genetic disorder.

Known as PCDH19, it affects just nine children in the world, causing catastrophic clusters of seizures which are unresponsive to anti-epilepsy drugs.

The family moved to Holland in September so the youngster could legally take the oil which dramatically changed Alfie’s life, cutting his seizures down from up to 30 a day to just once a month.

But after being forced to move back home due to dwindling funds and difficulty getting medical insurance, the government denied a plea to grant Alfie a licence to use cannabis oil.

And a growing campaign backed by MPs across the country and famous faces including Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley and star of stage and screen Sir Patrick Stewart – who himself uses medicinal cannabis to treat arthritis – prompted the government to reconsider.

Speaking to MPs, Mrs May said while people should get the treatment they needed, it was important medicines were tested properly.

Mum Hannah, thanked supporters on Alfie’s Facebook with a heartfelt message.

She wrote: “Our understanding is that the Home Office will be considering this application over the coming days.

“We would like to say once again just how grateful we are to the many hundreds of thousands of people that have supported us by signing Alfie’s petition, emailing their MP and spreading word of our fight across social networks and other platforms.

“And we again thank the many parliamentarians who have expressed support for Alfie, many of whom have specifically lobbied the Home Office and number ten on his behalf.

“Together, you have helped us build a formidable campaign which reached a particular intensity at the end of last month when we handed in our petition.

“We were particularly uplifted and touched by the fact that the Prime Minister herself took the time to meet Alfie.

“We hope that compassion will be the order of the day, and that the Home Office will grant Alfie his licence as soon as possible.”

Search Alfie’s Hope on Facebook to find out more.


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