An English seven-year-old with a rare form of epilepsy has made an “amazing” recovery after beginning a medicinal cannabis oil treatment, her family said.
Sienna Richardson, from Telford, was diagnosed with Landau Kleffner syndrome.
The family secured a prescription from a private practice for her – which her mother said had been a “miracle”.
They are now campaigning with other families to ensure the treatment is more widely available on the NHS.
Sienna was diagnosed after her parents noticed problems with her speech and understanding.
Steroid treatments were not successful and, while surgery was an option, it could leave Sienna with paralysis of her left side.
Her family said they believed the medicinal cannabis oil Bedrolite offered the best hope.
Despite a law change to allow the prescription of cannabis-based medications, some families have been unable to secure it on the NHS and a campaign began to raise £15,000 for Sienna’s treatment.
Her family had raised over £8,000 before the start of the pandemic, and used the money to secure a private prescription.
Sienna’s mother, Lucy Richardson, said they saw improvements within weeks.
“Since taking it she is able to understand and speak normally,” she said. “She is living a normal life, she is still in mainstream school, playing with friends, she is doing really, really well.
“When we saw her getting better and better, it was amazing.”
The medication costs about £1,400 per month, which the family will have to fund themselves in the new year.
They are supporting a campaign by End our Pain and Epilepsy Action for access to cannabis-based medicines for children with severe and treatment-resistant epilepsy.
“It is a massive stress. We worry about how we will fund it, but there is no choice. We have to do it so Sienna can live a normal life,” Mrs Richardson said.
“If we got it on the NHS, that would be amazing.”