The parents of a nine-year-old boy who lives with a severe form of epilepsy are urging people to sign a petition calling for the legalisation of cannabis oil after a derivative of this drug cut their son’s seizures by half.
Clare and Richard Blatchford’s son Joseph has suffered from intractable epilepsy since he was five years old and he has had hundreds of seizures since being diagnosed. In fact his epilepsy is so bad that he has been known to have up to 22 seizures in the space of 24 hours.
“We have been using a hemp CBD oil for Joseph’s epilepsy and the results have been astonishing,” said Joseph’s mum Clare. “After four years of 10 different pharmaceutical drugs not having any effect, this oil has halved the amount of seizures he would normally have. It’s given him just a part of his life back so we’re asking people to please sign the petition.”
Hemp CBD oil is a legal derivative of cannabis oil and is registered as a dietary supplement.
“We need to petition the Government to legalise cannabis for medical purposes so lots of different strains and strengths can be used to treat a variety of different illnesses and conditions,” added Clare.
At the moment, the family order hemp CBD oil on the internet paying approximately £290 for 100ml which lasts for roughly 50 days – a tenth of the price a synthetic version being trialled by the NHS would cost according to Clare.
A pupil at St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School in Clitheroe, despite the illness making everyday life an uphill struggle, Joseph together with his family have strived to raise awareness about epilepsy as well as raise funds for charity.
For the past two years, the Blatchford family have organised for Clitheroe Castle’s keep to be lit up purple to raise awareness of epilepsy. They have also staged a Wear Purple Day for epilepsy with all proceeds donated to Epilepsy Action, a charity that has supported the family constantly since Joseph’s diagnosis. Clare and Joseph in May last year also set themselves the challenge of running 50k in 12 months.
The petition which is calling for the Government to make cannabis oil legal for medicinal purposes, needs 100,000 signatures before the issue will be considered for debate in Parliament.
Clare, who is an account manager for a flooring manufacturer, and her husband Richard, a self-employed electrician and a former pupil of Pendle Primary School and Ribblesdale High School, have two other children, Oliver (seven) and Louis (two).