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Emma Appleby wins back cannabis oil medication for daughter Teagan after Home Office seizure

By Anna MacSwan

A mother has won back her daughter's medicinal cannabis after it was seized by the Home Office.

Emma Appleby, from Aylesham, had travelled to Holland to obtain the treatment drug in oil form for her nine-year-old daughter Teagan, who has severe epilepsy.

But the medication was taken by Border Force officials at Gatwick last Thursday (June 6), when she was told she would need an import licence.

Teagan Appleby with mum Emma and dad Lee Moore. Picture: Chris Davey.
Teagan Appleby with mum Emma and dad Lee Moore. Picture: Chris Davey.

In a jubilant Facebook post today, Miss Applebey, of Milner Crescent - who only had a two-week supply of the life-changing oil from a previous trip remaining - said it has now been given back.

"Thank you to everyone for the support, especially the people who helped get the medication returned," she said.

Teagan has an extreme form of epilepsy that can cause up to 300 seizures a day.

Although cannabis oil - which can be legally prescribed in the UK by specialist doctors as of November 1 - has helped to reduce her fits to just five a day and only in her sleep, obtaining prescriptions has proved difficult due to restrictive guidelines and supply problems.

Her mother had previously attempted to bring several week's worth of treatment into the country from Rotterdam in April, which was confiscated at Southend Airport, although it was returned days later through a dispensing pharmacy.

Teagan Appleby
Teagan Appleby

Miss Appleby was accompanied on her latest trip by Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi, who raised the family's ordeal as an urgent question to Home Secretary Sajid Javid in Parliament on Monday.

"In the absence of NHS prescribing, parents like Emma are having to go abroad or pay the exhorbitant import or pharmacy charges," she said.

"Emma had a UK prescription and so met the criteria laid out to a letter presented to her at border control.

"So why then did the Home Office make the UK Border Force detain the medicinal cannabis that Teagan so desperately needs?"

The family's MP, Dover's Charlie Elphicke, has also backed Miss Appleby's campaign for an NHS prescription.

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