After four unsuccessful bone marrow transplants, and on his 14th birthday, Deryn began to plan his funeral.
The pain and suffering which comes with four years of unsuccessful treatments took its toll. The young boy had begun to accept that he was about to die. He told the hosts of ITV’s This Morning, “One you accept it, it becomes very calming, quite nice in a sense […] after four years of treatment it’s enough.”
It was at this point that his heroic mother, Callie, turned to cannabis as a last resort. Whilst Callie was researching any possible way to ease her son’s suffering, cannabis kept on coming up in her searches.
Deryn suffering in the hospital before receiving treatment with cannabis
Asked by Phillip Schofield how she came about giving her son cannabis, the mother explained: “Through lots of research.
“I’d done lots of research when his secondary cancer arrived, as it was so unknown. I turned to the internet and started looking, and over the following months and years cannabis just kept popping up.”
Days after his final bone marrow transplant, Deryn trapped his fingers causing incredible pain and putting him at serious risk, due to the fact that his lack of white blood cells left his immune system non-existent.
Following this, and being given just days left to live, Callie decided that she might as well give the controversial treatment a go. Her doctors, however, were unable to prescribe the dying child Bedrocan (pharmaceutical cannabis).
“He was so incredibly ill, and on a high dose of Fentanyl, the highest potency morphine, and it wasn’t working,” she explained on This Morning. “I asked the doctor for Bedrocan, because I wanted to go through the proper measures. She told me ‘we can’t because it hasn’t been licensed for children.”
Deryn and his mother Callie now
Forced away from clinically tested and properly produced cannabis, the desperate mother was forced to buy some cannabis from the street of a dealer. Callie and her husband proceeded to cook the cannabis into a tincture after finding instructions online.
They began to notice an improvement almost immediately: “Honestly, the effects of it blew my mind, it wasn’t what I expected,” Callie told Holly Willoughby.
“All I expected was, I heard people say how it helped alleviate their anxiety and some pain, and that’s what Deryn was experiencing.
“Within half an hour to an hour, that he was just chilled out, he just relaxed. He wasn’t panicking.”
The cannabis went far beyond just alleviating pain and anxiety, however. In a miraculous turn of events, the young boy’s health began to slowly improve.
Callie continued, “They told us there was nothing in his bone marrow.
“We gave it [the cannabis tincture] to him, and five days later when the bandages came off, and we saw healthy fingers… We were told there was no way they would be, under there, the doctor started panicking.”
Deryn had begun to do what the doctors had thought impossible: improve. Suddenly, his white blood cell count appeared, after being told that he had literally nothing in his marrow by his doctors. Could cannabis have been the variable which triggered this improvement?
Callie didn’t want to leave this question unanswered. She tested whether the cannabis was behind her son’s improvement by withdrawing it from his treatment. His white count began to fall.
Callie wasn’t able to tell her son’s doctors that she was giving her son the cannabis. The heroic mother kept giving her son the cannabis tincture, applied under his tongue, in varying amounts to see if it really was having an effect. One thing was clear: when Deryn was given cannabis tincture his white count rose when it was take away it fell.
Callie stressed that she doesn’t want to claim cannabis is a miracle cure. She told the BBC: “I’m not saying it’s a cure, but it’s definitely a treatment we need to look more into.”
This couldn’t be more true. More research into the medicinal properties and possible illnesses it could treat or symptoms it could alleviate is needed.
Callie wrote her book, “The Boy in 7 Billion,” to put her and her son’s story out into the world to try and help others that may want to try the same cannabis treatment, but may be sceptical or worried.