Mum’s plea for help over controversial drug
- Credit: Archant
A mother from St Neots is continuing her campaign for a change in the law to help her severely epileptic daughter access the treatment she needs.
Lucy Conrad, 15, from Little Paxton, previously had up to a hundred seizures a day, some of which could last for up to five hours, but since taking canabid oil (CBD), she went 80 days without a seizure.
Lucy, who currently attends Samuel Peyps special school in St Neots, has tried a number of different treatments over the years to help reduce the number of seizures that she suffers, without much success.
However, she started taking legal CBD oil in March 2017 and her mother says that the treatment helps to control her seizures and has changed her life.
Cannabinoid, which is also known as CBD, is legal in the UK as long as its tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC) content is less than 0.2 per cent, but it cannot be prescribed by doctors due to it being unlicensed.
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For that reason, Lucy currently has to be taken out of school because council rules mean she isn’t allowed to receive the oil treatment on site.
Lucy’s mum, Debbie Conrad, said: “This treatment has been a lifesaver for us. We had run out of places to turn and this was really our last option. It has really helped change Lucy’s life.
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“As a family, whilst Lucy was growing up we have had tremendous support from the NHS, Little Paxton Primary School, Samuel Pepys School and numerous health and paediatric specialists along her journey.”
CBD is not classed as a medical grade, meaning it hasn’t had the stringent testing that the pharmaceutical CBD has to go through to satisfy medical authorities. As such, it is classed as a food supplement. However, it still is not allowed to be prescribed by a doctor meaning that schools aren’t able to administer it.
Debbie said: “In March 2017 we had run out of all options, Lucy was intolerant to all anti epileptic drugs so we had only one option.
“CBD is working for Lucy, it’s amazing. She is living proof and it has no side effects it is a holistic approach that is having a massive impact on her quality of life.”
Debbie and Lucy’s dad Chris currently have to administer the drops every two hours, and are calling for the drug to be given medical licence so that Lucy can be given them at school.
“Chris and I did lots of research into CBD as the NHS, or indeed anybody else, was unable to advise us or recommend it to us. We found a company in Suffolk which has been supplying us with the legal form of CBD and with as much background information and regular laboratory reports to ensure Lucy’s safety and well being.
“Bureaucracy and red tape is holding us back, every professional that we are working with has stated that. If this were their child, they would be doing exactly the same as us. Living with complex epilepsy for 15 years is a living evil for us all and soul destroying to have and to watch, especially your child.
“Samuel Pepys is working so hard with us and many other professional and councillors too, but Lucy is being denied her right to a quality of life.”
Lucy went 80 days seizure free before suffering a mini-seizure on March 29. Debbie has said that her seizures have become progressively shorter and less frequent, giving Lucy a better quality of life.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Having looked into this matter at length, including taking advice from health colleagues, and considering current Government guidelines, the school is not able to administer any unlicensed medicines or substances or over-the-counter medication to pupils. We are aware that there have been a number of clinical trials which demonstrate that CBD oil can have a therapeutic effect for children with epilepsy. The school, the local authority education team and partners from health and social care are working closely with the family to explore options and provide support within the current legislation and guidelines.”