Scottish mother’s plea for medical cannabis prescription for child’s severe epilepsy

  • Karen Gray wants the NHS to prescribe her son cannabis oil
  • Murray, 5, can suffer up to 12 seizures a day due to severe epilepsy
  • Karen believes CBD alone will not stop the seizures
  • THC remains illegal in the UK despite overwhelming evidence of its medical importance
  • Karen shared a hallowing video of her son’s seizing to raise awareness

A desperate Scottish mother has made a plea for her epileptic son to be prescribed full spectrum cannabis oil on the NHS.

Karen Gray, from Edenborough, believes that cannabis oil containing both THC and CBD is her son’s best chance at a normal life.

Murray before regular steroid injections to help control his seizures

Murray, 5, suffers from Myoclonic Astatic Epilepsy, also known as Doose Syndrome. Murray’s epilepsy is so severe that he can suffer up to 12 seizures a day.

Karen uploaded a video of her son’s seizures earlier this week to raise awareness of how debilitating epilepsy can be.

Karen told us how pharmaceutical medications did not help Murray’s condition:

“Murray has not responded well to the pharmaceutical medications he’s been prescribed.

“He’s been given steroids, then gastro tablets to help with the side-effects from the steroids, and three different types of epileptic medications.

“He’s even received intravenous drugs during seizures, but nothing is really working to help fully stop the seizures.

One of the appeals of medical cannabis is its lack of negative side-effects.

Patients like Karen are turning to the ancient healing herb due to the severe side-effects of their pharmaceutical medications:

“Murray has completely ‘blown up’ due to the steroids.

Scottish Child cannabis
Brave young Murray, battling the side effects of steroids and epilepsy medications

“His face and back all swollen up. They know this happens with steroids, but it’s just not acceptable for a five-year-old.

“He can get aggressive, especially when hungry, which is all the time! Murray can be hungry half an hour after having his lunch.” Doctors recommended that Karen put Murray on a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbs and often undertaken to tackle the problem.

Due to the side effects of the steroids, however, Karen believes that the ketogenic diet is a ‘last resort’:

“We have a choice: either a ketogenic diet or medical cannabis.

“The ketogenic path would be completely impractical.

“Murray would be restricted in what he can eat, which, due to the steroids, would be impossible!

Karen appearing on BBC Radio Scotland with Kaye Adams

“He loves pasta, which would be banned, and there is a risk his blood sugar levels could drop because of the food.

“I would have to hand prep every meal, so there’s a good chance we wouldn’t be able to take him to parties, for a meal, a holiday, anything.

“I don’t want to put my son through that.

“I worked out that with a ketogenic diet, there would be a 33% chance of the seizures stopping. With cannabis, it would be 40%.

“Medical cannabis should not be our last option.”

While Cannabidiol (CBD), the cannabinoid most associated with treating epileptic seizures, is legal in the UK, Karen believes that a combination of THC and CBD will be needed to give her son the best chance of a normal life.

Karen could easily purchase CBD from a high-street, such as from AHED (Lancashire), but the mother has concerns about not doing it with a doctor’s guidance:

“Since our story made the headlines, we’ve had so many wonderful offers from so many CBD companies for free trials.

“But, with a prescription, we will be able to be monitored, for example, how Murray’s liver reacts to the new drugs.

“It will give me some reassurance having a medical professional guide us through the process. I want to get him off the other medications, which I will need guidance with.

“We have not tried any cannabis medication, yet. I want to do it in the right way.

Mike Barnes, a fantastic neurologist, supports the argument that THC is a safe substance, so I feel like it is the right option to wait until we can access full spectrum.” Desperate patients have sometimes been forced away from the UK to access legal medical cannabis, becoming “cannabis refugees.”

Karen did not want to put her family through this:

“We could go to Holland to access legal medical cannabis, but I do not want to uproot our family, especially when I have two other children.

“We should be able to get it here and not separate the family!

“How can a Government deny the nation something that is going to help them?”

“What if it was a politician’s child?

“What if they had to watch their children have all these seizure, knowing their only option was pharmaceuticals which could have horrible side-effects?

“Would they not want to give their children medical cannabis?

“I’m sure they would in a heartbeat.”

You can support Karen and Murray’s cause through their official 38Degree’s Page

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