News | World News | Epilepsy sufferer, six, in intensive care as family demand access to medicinal cannabis oil

Epilepsy sufferer, six, in intensive care as family demand access to medicinal cannabis oil

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Epilepsy sufferer, six, is in intensive care as family waits at her bedside to hear if their bid for medicinal cannabis oil is successful while mother of young boy becomes the first to legally bring the oil into the UK

  • Sophie Gibson, six, suffers from severe form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome
  • Parents Danielle and Darren say cannabis oil relieves their daughter's condition
  • But Sophia suffered a seizure so severe she had to be placed in an induced coma
  • Yesterday Hannah Deacon, mother of a six-year-old epileptic boy, legally brought medicinal cannabis oil through border in first known successful attempt

By Keiligh Baker for MailOnline

Published: 04:12 EDT, 11 July 2018 | Updated: 04:12 EDT, 11 July 2018

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The family of a six-year-old girl who is waiting to hear if she has been granted a licence to be treated with medicinal cannabis oil say she has been hospitalised.

Sophia Gibson, from Newtownards, County Down, suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome and yesterday she was rushed to hospital and placed in an induced coma after suffering an hour-long seizure. 

Her parents, Danielle and Darren say the medication relieves their daughter's condition. Her family has applied for a licence for her to be treated with cannabis oil in Northern Ireland.  

The little girl's decline comes as the mother of a six-year-old epileptic boy legally brought medicinal cannabis oil through the border in the first known successful attempt since the Government paved the way for reforms.

Sophia Gibson, (pictured wit her parents Darren and Danielle) suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. Yesterday she was rushed to hospital after suffering an seizure and was put in an induced coma. Her family say cannabis oil eases her symptoms
Sophia Gibson, (pictured wit her parents Darren and Danielle) suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. Yesterday she was rushed to hospital after suffering an seizure and was put in an induced coma. Her family say cannabis oil eases her symptoms

Sophia Gibson, (pictured wit her parents Darren and Danielle) suffers from a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. Yesterday she was rushed to hospital after suffering an seizure and was put in an induced coma. Her family say cannabis oil eases her symptoms

Hannah Deacon was allowed to pass through London City Airport on Tuesday carrying banned THC oil from Amsterdam after licences were granted for her son, Alfie Dingley, to be treated with the drug for his rare condition.

Previously Sophia was treated with the medication when her family took her to the Netherlands.

Sophia is currently being treated in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Her mother Danielle told the Press Association Sophia suffered a seizure so severe she had to be placed in an induced coma.

'How much more Sophia can take of this, I just don't know,' she said. 'I am just praying she makes it through the night. I just hope she has enough fight in her to keep going.

Hannah Deacon was allowed to pass through London City Airport on Tuesday carrying banned THC oil from Amsterdam after licences were granted for her son, Alfie Dingley, to be treated with the drug for his rare condition
Hannah Deacon was allowed to pass through London City Airport on Tuesday carrying banned THC oil from Amsterdam after licences were granted for her son, Alfie Dingley, to be treated with the drug for his rare condition

Hannah Deacon was allowed to pass through London City Airport on Tuesday carrying banned THC oil from Amsterdam after licences were granted for her son, Alfie Dingley, to be treated with the drug for his rare condition

'No parent wants to see their child like this, and there are so many other children like Sophia, something needs to be done, there has been too much stalling (around medicinal cannabis).'

In a statement earlier on Tuesday evening, Sophia's family said she has been placed on life support.

'Sophia needs everyone's prayers and well wishes more than ever,' they said. 'This afternoon Sophia had a very bad seizure lasting near an hour which has resulted in Sophia being sedated and placed on life support.

'Danielle is currently with her at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where Sophia is critical.

Hannah Deacon (right), mother of six-year-old Alfie Dingley, is greeted by her mother Maggie Deacon upon arrival at London City Airport as she arrives in the UK with a supply of medical cannabis to treat her epileptic son
Hannah Deacon (right), mother of six-year-old Alfie Dingley, is greeted by her mother Maggie Deacon upon arrival at London City Airport as she arrives in the UK with a supply of medical cannabis to treat her epileptic son

Hannah Deacon (right), mother of six-year-old Alfie Dingley, is greeted by her mother Maggie Deacon upon arrival at London City Airport as she arrives in the UK with a supply of medical cannabis to treat her epileptic son

'We can't reply to everyone individually that have already sent messages or phone calls but we appreciate it and will up date you as we and the family know more.' 

Ms Deacon, 39, of Kenilworth, Warwickshire,  expressed her concern over Sophia's condition.

'She's actually in hospital in intensive care because she doesn't have her medication which is proven to work,' she said. 'And I'm urging the Home Office today to issue an emergency licence for her. She's proven that it works.

'We need to act quickly. We've suffered so much, these people shouldn't suffer.

'The Gibson's have proven that it works for their daughter Sophia and I'm urging the Home Office, our Government and the health department in Northern Ireland to make sure this licence is issued urgently.

'It's horrendous that another child is suffering again because of bureaucracy.'

Last week Billy Caldwell from Castlederg, County Tyrone was granted a licence to be treated with medicinal cannabis. He suffers from a severe form of epilepsy. His mother Charlotte says the medication helps to control his seizures.

The use of medicinal cannabis is currently strictly limited in the UK.

However that is currently under review by the Home Office.

But Home Secretary Sajid Javid stressed the drug would remain banned for recreational use.

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