Billy Caldwell suffers seizure following return home

Billy Caldwell suffered a seizure this morning and was hospitalised. Picture by Matt Bohill

A CO TYRONE boy with epilepsy at the centre of a campaign to see cannabis oil licensed for medicinal use has suffered a seizure.

Billy Caldwell returned home to Northern Ireland on Thursday evening after spending three weeks in London receiving specialist care.

The Home Office granted a short-term licence to allow him access to cannabis oil to control his seizures.

The Belfast health trust has now secured a licence for medicinal cannabis and can administer the medication at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

His mother Charlotte Caldwell has expressed frustration over the arrangement, saying the Belfast hospital is a two-hour drive from their home in Castlederg.

She emphasised that her son, who is also autistic, needs to be at home in familiar surroundings.

It is understood the negotiations are continuing with the health service to agree a long-term treatment plan.

A spokesman for the Caldwell family said Billy had been taken to the Royal at 8.50am today after suffering a seizure.

His family linked it to stress and tiredness.

"Billy is high-spectrum autistic. Every doctor on the planet knows that he should be having familiarity and order in his life - his toys, his garden, his bed, his home," Ms Caldwell said.

Earlier this week a department spokeswoman confirmed it had authorised a 14-day emergency licence to the Belfast Trust.

"All of these matters require careful consideration and involve clinical and legal considerations. The granting of the emergency licence...reflects the clinical need to ensure continuity of treatment for Billy, given his mother's decision to bring him home."

Charlotte Caldwell travelled back with her son to Northern Ireland on Thursday. Picture by Matt Bohill

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