[Re: Backbench Business Debate, 4th November]
Three years ago, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid took steps that saved my daughter’s life. Now I need his help again. My daughter, Jorja, was born with a severe form of epilepsy, which left her suffering more than 30 seizures a day. She was admitted to intensive care, and we were told it was terminal. No treatment available made any difference.
As a father, faced with a similar situation, you would take whatever steps you could. So, when another parent told me of a treatment that had helped their child with a similar condition, I was desperate to find out more. That treatment – a form of medical cannabis – was not available in the UK.
That was when Sajid Javid stepped in and changed the law. That gave Jorja – and around a dozen other children – access to legal but unlicensed treatment. The impact was instant. The seizures stopped almost completely. She took her first steps. But now, her life is once again at risk. Clinical guidance says that only specialist consultants are allowed to prescribe medicinal cannabis in the first instance. Our consultant retired a few weeks ago and we cannot find anyone else willing to prescribe.
Last week, MPs discussed this in the House of Commons. I hope the now Health Secretary will listen to my pleas. All we need is for GPs to be allowed to prescribe. When Sajid changed the law three years ago, he said, “There is nothing harder than seeing your loved ones in pain”. He has it in his hands to stop my daughter returning to the pain of the past.