Suffolk parents of epileptic child speak out after Kent mother has medicinal cannabis seized
PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 09 April 2019
The parents of Suffolk girl four-year-old with a severe form of epilepsy have admitted to feeling “very vulnerable” after a mother’s supply of medicinal cannabis for her daughter was seized at the airport.
Emma Appleby, from Kent, flew back to Britain from Holland on Saturday morning with partner Lee, with a supply of cannabis oils for nine-year-old Teagan.
But the three-month supply of medicines for Teagan, who has a rare chromosomal disorder and suffers up to 300 seizures a day, was confiscated at Southend Airport.
Tannine Montgomery and Anthony Clarry, from Clare, near Sudbury, have been campaigning for NHS access to medicinal cannabis for their daughter Indie-Rose, and the couple marched on Westminster last month.
MORE: Suffolk parents march on Westminster to demand medicinal cannabis access
Indie-Rose, who has Dravet syndrome, has seen her seizures fall dramatically after using cannabis oil, but despite a change in the law last November to legalise access, parents have still been struggling to secure prescriptions.
The couple have seen prescriptions blocked by the NHS, with doctors citing British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) guidelines.
The guidelines highlight concerns over the effect of exposure to THC – the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for the ‘high’ – on the developing brain of children.
Miss Montgomery said: “I feel we’re in a very vulnerable position, Indie has no other medication to elevate her seizures and her life will be at risk without medication.
“I believe what Emma did she did with her daughter’s best interests at heart, Teagan’s life without cannabis is proving to be devastating. “I believe she should be able to access medical cannabis without having to break the law or have medication that’s been prescribed to her very sick daughter confiscated.
“I hope the Home Office see sense and grant our children licences to use medical cannabis oil in the UK.”
MORE: Community in Clare rallies around four-year-old with severe form of epilepsy
Peter Carroll, director of the campaign group End Our Pain, said: “This is a medicine that’s legal in the UK. The law was changed for a reason.
“It was changed on scientific advice as well.
“I call on everybody from Matt Hancock, the leaders of the NHS, the leaders of all the medical professions, I know you must all be caring people but the system that you have put in place is resulting in this kind of trauma for families.”
A Government spokesman said: “The decision to prescribe cannabis-based products for medicinal use is a clinical decision for specialist hospital doctors, made with patients and their families, taking into account clinical guidance.
“It is unlawful to import unlicensed cannabis-based products for medicinal use to the UK without the prescription of a specialist doctor and a Home Office importation licence.
“Border Force has a duty to enforce the law and stop the unlawful import of controlled substances into the UK.”