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Trip to Holland for cannabis oil planned for Teagan Appleby, nine, of Aylesham, Dover, who suffers severe epilepsy

By Sam Lennon

The family of a child with an extreme epilepsy are planning to take her to Holland for cannabis oil treatment.

This will be legally allowed on prescription in the UK from November 1.

But Teagan Appleby's family believe the scheme will take too long to be up and running here, when it already is in the Netherlands.

Teagan Appleby. Picture: Help for Teagan JustGiving page
Teagan Appleby. Picture: Help for Teagan JustGiving page

And the nine-year-old's condition has worsened in the last fortnight, with her having to stay in hospital in an induced coma to stop seizures.

She needs £10,000 to fund the trip and £6,970 of that was raised by today after donations from hundreds of well-wishers.

Teagan's mother Emma, of Milner Crescent, Aylesham, said on a posting on the JustGiving page: "Due to the continued situation with Teagan's health and the lack of progress made in stopping the seizures it has confirmed our commitment to take her to Holland for treatment.

"We will continue to fundraise to achieve this and give Teagan the best chance."

Teagan, who needs a wheelchair, was born with a rare condition called Isodicentric 15, which causes developmental health disorders and given her daily, violent seizures.

She can have as many as 300 seizures a day.

Hers is a chromosome abnormality, which has progressed to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a form of severe epilepsy.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid
Home Secretary Sajid Javid

Home Secretary Sajid Javid decided to reschedule cannabis-derived medicinal products after advice from experts during a review he commissioned on June 19.

It means that senior clinicians will be able to prescribe the medicines to patients with an exceptional clinical need.

Mr Javid, who had been lobbied by Dover MP Charlie Elphicke to help Teagan, made the announcement allow the prescriptions in the UK last Thursday.

The cannabis oil would contain a chemical called THC, which has been shown to help children with epilepsy.

Teagan's family had originally planned to take her to Canada for the immediate medicinal cannabis available but doctors said she was too frail to travel that distance.

The Netherlands was chosen as an alternative and is still the first option even with prescriptions starting in the UK in a couple of weeks.

The family says it is still not clear when the medication would be available in this country and whether they may be holdups through red tape.

British doctors would have to be trained to prescribe it and a supply chain would need to be set up.

But in Holland the experience, expertise and knowledge in the administration of this form of medication is already there and it can be given immediately if needed.

Emma Appleby with her daughter Teagan
Emma Appleby with her daughter Teagan

The family says that Teagan's condition has recently deteriorated to the extent that she cannot afford delays.

She has been in hospital since October 4 and was put in an induced coma to try to give her body a break from seizures.

She is currently in intensive care at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London.

The family are waiting to see how she responds to the medication being given and learn when she is stable enough to travel to the Netherlands.

To help fund Teagan's trip visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpforteagan

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