A youngster has taken his first drops of medicinal cannabis to help his crippling epilespy seizures after doctors prescribed it to him following his mother’s campaign that went all the way to Downing Street.
Murray Gray from Edinburgh, was given the drops of Epidiolex, a form of pure cannabidiol (CBD) on Wednesday night and had a follow up dose yesterday. It is believed he is the first Scottish child to be prescribed the drug for epilepsy.
The five-year-old, who is a P2 pupil at Edinburgh’s Clermiston Primary School, was finally given medicinal cannabis after falling heavily and cutting his head during a seizure on Tuesday night.
He has been in and out of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh since he was diagnosed with myoclonic astatic epilepsy aged two and receives treatment there for upwards of 12 crippling seizures a day.
His mother, Karen Gray, who has two other children, handed in a 170,000 signature petition to Downing Street last April, in a bid to trigger a parliamentary debate that would see the drug made available on the NHS. Home Secretary Sajid David has since announced he would relax the rules about the circumstances in which GPs can give the drug to patients after considering expert advice from a specially comissioned review.
It followed other high-profile cases like Murray’s including that of young epilepsy sufferers Alfie Dingley and Billy Caldwell, whose conditions appeared to be helped by cannabis oil.
Karen told The Scotsman she was “delighted” with the decision to allow her son medicinal cannabis.
She said: “It’s amazing – it’s a huge relief that Murray’s now receiving the medicinal cannabis – we’ll just have to hope that it works. We fought hard to get it and he’s really happy. He’s got to take the medicinal cannabis twice a day. He had his first dose on Wednesday night and he got his second dose this morning. We gave him it in an oral syringe and it just drops on to his tongue. We don’t know if the epidiolex will work as he’s only had a small dose, so we just really need to wait and see what happens in the next couple of weeks.”
She added: “The night before he had a drop seizure and smashed his head and had to get the cut glued together.
“We’re in hospital at the moment because Murray’s hadn’t being doing too well with the seizures.”
Edinburgh West Lib Dems MP Christine Jardine said: “I am so relieved to see Murray is finally getting the treatment his mum Karen has worked so hard for that I thought I might cry when I saw the pictures on Twitter.
“He’s one brave little boy, with a determined mum who not only helped him, but her campaign helped draw attention to the need for a change in the law to allow so many people in pain to get relief from medicinal cannabis.”
She added: “That change is happening and we must make sure we don’t ever again allow children like Murray, or adults who are in pain, to go on suffering when there is a solution.”