Published: 12:20, 13 December 2018
| Updated: 12:22, 13 December 2018
A young girl with a severe form of epilepsy is back at home after receiving cannabis-based medication in a London hospital.
Teagan Appleby of Milner Crescent, Aylesham, had up to 300 fits a day but her life-threatening condition has now stabilised.
Doctors at the Evelina Childen’s Hospital have successfully treated the nine-year-old who was born with the rare condition Isodicentric 15, a chromosome abnormality that has led to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a form of acute epilepsy.
Wheelchair-bound Teagan was at the centre of a battle to receive cannabis-based treatment along with other severely epileptic children in the UK, which led to Home Secretary Sajid Javid announcing in October that cannabis could be medically-prescribed by neurologists and other specialists. It was legally allowed on prescription in the UK from November 1.
Teagan’s mum Emma has been backed by Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke, who fought for the cannabis-based medication to be legalised, but the little girl’s treatment was further delayed by restrictive prescribing regulations imposed by the NHS and because of supply shortages.
The MP appealed to the chief executive of the Trust which runs Evelina Childen’s Hospital, after which Kent-based GW Pharmaceuticals was permitted to supply cannabis-based Epidiolex to medics treating Teagan.
But although Whitfield & Aspen pupil Teagan’s condition has improved, the youngster is still suffering from night-time seizures.
Her mum Emma wants her to be treated with THC - tetrahydrocannabinol, the strongest form of cannabis treatment.
Emma is hoping that THC will prevent all of Teagan’s seizures and allow her to return to school.
Charlie said: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to see their child in pain. Yet this is the awful reality Emma has faced for so long.
"I was struck by how hard Emma has to fight, day in day out, for her daughter – and at times what a lonely and exhausting battle that must be.
“Yet her love for Teagan shines through. She will not stop until Teagan gets the help she needs.
“I am determined to help. I will do everything I can to make sure the bureaucrats do not stand in Emma and Teagan’s way. Common sense must prevail.
“Teagan must be given every chance for a better life.”