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Epileptic Aylesham youngster Teagan Appleby awaits medicinal cannabis after family obtains approval to get seized drugs back

By Marijke Hall

A mother stopped trying to bring medicinal cannabis into the UK to help her seriously ill daughter has been issued a prescription for the drugs.

Emma Appleby, from Aylesham, says she had been told by the government that if she could get approval from a British doctor and an import licence, she might be able to get the seized medicine back.

The 35-year-old travelled to Holland last week to bring a three-month dose of THC oil and cannabidiol (CBD) back to help her nine-year-old daughter Teagan, who suffers an acute form of epilepsy caused by rare chromosome deficiency called Isodicentric 15.

KMTV previously spoke to Teagan's mum about how cannabis oil would help her disabled daughter

She made the trip after failing to secure a prescription from UK doctors.

But the medication was confiscated by officials when she arrived at Southend Airport on Saturday,

Health secretary Matt Hancock said "it is not possible to import controlled drugs" without the approval of a British doctor, but he added "we have made available the opportunity for a second opinion".

Miss Appleby says she is thrilled to have got the prescription and import licence, but it is now a waiting game as to when the Home Office will release the medication to her.

"It's not as straight forward as we had hoped," she said.

"We're now trying to find out why we haven't heard anything from the Home Office.

Nine-year-old Teagan Appleby has severe epilepsy (8392666)
Nine-year-old Teagan Appleby has severe epilepsy (8392666)

"I was told when they seized it that as long as I've got a prescription it will be released.

"I thought it would be pretty quick. The medicine is there, I've got approval so why can't I have it?"

Miss Appleby says wheelchair-bound Teagan is not doing well at the moment and the medication could change her life.

"We really need the medicine, it may not kick in straight away so the sooner we can get it the better," she added.

At the end of last year, the youngster was given cannabis-based medication Epidiolex at the Evelina Children’s Hospital which initially worked, stopping all her seizures while she was awake, although not while she slept.

But the effect plateaued and since February she has suffered aggressive fits, which cause her to stop breathing, turn grey and rely on rescue medicine to save her life.

Miss Appleby wants Teagan, who previously suffered up to 300 fits a day, to be treated with THC - tetrahydrocannabinol - the strongest form of cannabis treatment, believing it will prevent all her seizures.

But this is not readily prescribed by doctors, despite a change in law on November 1, 2018, making it legal for neurologists and other specialists to prescribe medical products derived from cannabis.

This led to Miss Appleby taking matters into her own hands and travelling to Holland to obtain the medication.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We will not provide a running commentary on individual cases."

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