Cannabis Refugee: Warwickshire family forced out of UK so epileptic son can access cannabis treatment

  • Alfie Dingley, 5, suffers a rare form of epilepsy which cannot be treated with modern, pharmaceutical medications
  • Suffering hundreds of seizures a day, his family feels their only choice is to move the child to the Netherlands
  • The family are trying to appealing for donations to help fund their move to The Hague

Alfie Dingley, a five-year-old epileptic boy from Warwickshire, has become the latest British cannabis refugee after his family decided to move him to the Netherlands where he can gain access to potentially life-saving medicinal cannabis oil. Alfie’s rare condition means he faces hundreds of potentially life-threatening epileptic seizures a day. His current pharmaceutical medication, including IV steroids he takes during a cluster of seizures, are not effectively working, and often have horrendous side effects.

Alfie Dingley in hopsital
Alfie with his dedicated father, Drew Dingley

“Alfie is deeply affected by the drugs he is given,” Alfie’s mother Hannah told the Coventry Telegraph.

“The IV steroids Alfie takes when he has a cluster of seizures have serious side effects. They are toxic and cause him to be very aggressive.”

Hannah added to The BBC:

“Our doctor recently told us that if we keep giving him intravenous steroids as we are, that he will have episodes of psychosis or become psychotic, which is terrifying.”

“This is an absurd situation. We are having to move to a new country to get treatment which could transform Alfie’s life.”
– Hannah, Alfie’s Mother.

Hannah made the decision to move the entire family to the Netherlands after researching medicinal cannabis and discovering other parents had successfully treated their children’s epilepsy with cannabis.

Alfie's Just Giving Page
Brave young Alfie, forced out his home due to Britain’s failing drug policies

Fearing a possible 14-year jail sentence for giving her son cannabis oil, Hannah explained:

“This is an absurd situation. We are having to move to a new country to get treatment which could transform Alfie’s life.

“We have done a lot of research into whole plant medical cannabis and have found many parents around the world who are using it effectively to either reduce or stop very aggressive seizures.”

Speaking to the BBC, Hannah further explained her family’s decision to move the young boy away from his home: “What choice do we have?

“We can’t stay here and carry on watching our child suffer and with the possibility of having severe mental health problems.”

The family is appealing for donations from the public to help fund their move and, hopefully, for life changing treatment for Alfie. So far, they have managed to raise £2,000 out of their £15,000 target which has facilitated the first step:

‘We now have to raise enough money to take Alfie abroad so we can try this life-saving medicine with him, in the hope that it gives him the chance of a normal and happy life.”

To donate to Alfie’s cause, visit his JustGiving page.

References and further Reading