A young boy hand-delivered a letter to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson urging him to improve medical cannabis access to his brother, who suffers from epileptic seizures.
Nine-year-old Thomas Braun delivered a letter directly to the UK prime minister with hopes that he can elicit a change in cannabis policy in his country—inspired by his brother, Eddie, who experiences an average of 100 seizures per day. “My brother Eddie has really bad epilepsy,” he wrote in the letter. “My mum and dad try their hardest for me and Eddie. They have the added worry of having to find money to pay for Eddie’s medical cannabis. We have support from friends. But getting a prescription from the NHS would help them a lot. Please support my family and all the other familys [sic] too.”
According to BBC News, the Braun family pays approximately £800 (or about $900 US) every month for Eddie’s cannabis prescription. The UK’s National Health Service does offer medical cannabis support for very specific cases, but only three children have been approved to receive a medical cannabis prescription since 2018. The mother of the UK’s first medical cannabis license recipient, Hannah Deacon, told BBC News that thousands of children and their families can’t afford to purchase and import medical cannabis on their own, leaving them to “suffer unnecessarily.”Caring for a special needs child can be difficult. According to Thomas and Eddie’s mom, they’ve overcome many hurdles to get Eddie the care he needs. “Being a parent is wonderful and it can also be challenging. Then being a parent to a child who has complex needs is in its whole own world of difficult because you have to fight for access to everything,” she said. “A school place, adaptations at home to make it accessible, the right wheelchair, to then try to manage Eddie’s medication needs, that’s just beyond what’s reasonable.”