In an example of how people’s minds and actions can change when their needs change, a former police officer who says she never dreamed of breaking the law has admitted smuggling cannabis oil into Scotland in order to treat her epileptic son.
Lisa Quarrell, from East Kilbride, has been to the Netherlands to bring back Bedrolite, which is 9% CBD and less than 1% THC. She says it has hugely improved the the health and quality of life of her six-year-old son Cole, who previously has had brain surgery and tried many anti-epileptic pharmaceuticals, none of which did anything to stop or lessen his seizures.
Lisa has spent thousands of pounds to bring the drug back illegally. She told BBC Disclosure: “I’ve walked through the airport and seen police officers I used to work with, knowing that I’m about to pick up my baggage that’s got an illegal drug in it, which is just so far beyond my imagination I can’t tell you.”
Cole could have up to 16 seizures a day, most of which would happen at night. “He’ll convulse, he’ll click in his mouth, his eyes will roll back, he’ll drop to the floor with no notice,” said Lisa. “It’s the most heart-breaking thing to watch. Two-and-a-half minutes has never felt so long as when you’re watching your child take a seizure. Cole had never had a dream because he didn’t get to sleep long enough or deep enough.”
Cole missed more than eight weeks of school earlier this year because of the number of seizures he was having and in March he was fitted for a wheelchair.
Cole has now been prescribed cannabis oil legally by a private London hospital, and Lisa said she would sell her house to fund Cole’s medicine if she had to. “I would. I can’t let him get sicker. I need to get him better. There’s nothing else for it.”
Lisa has been fundraising and travelling to the Netherlands with Karen Gray, 44, from Edinburgh. Karen is bringing the same product back for her six-year-old son, Murray, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy called Doose Syndrome.
Murray can have up to 12 seizures a day and in hospital he was put on strong medication that put him in a “vegetative state”, says Karen.
Murray tried Epidiolex, which is CBD-only, and for three months “it was absolutely brilliant but it just stopped working” as a tolerance built up. But Murray is now on Bedrolite as well and has also experienced a huge improvement in his health.