'My son can have a normal life', mother says after medical cannabis licence granted for Kenilworth schoolboy

Hannah Deacon and her son Alfie Dingley
Hannah Deacon and her son Alfie Dingley

The mother of a Kenilworth schoolboy with severe epilepsy has described her relief and surprise after a licence to treat him with medical cannabis was granted.

Hannah Deacon, mother to six-year-old Alfie Dingley, was in London on Tuesday June 19 appearing on various radio and TV programmes to talk about her frustration that Alfie had not yet been given a licence three months after she applied to the Home Office for one.

But Hannah received a phone call at around lunchtime from Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP, who told her the licence would be granted.

She said: “I did not expect to hear that on Tuesday. I was getting cross with the Home Office because I’d been waiting three months.

“I was going to sock it to them (on air), but then I got told ‘you can have your licence.’”

Hannah said the licence will mean Alfie has a better chance of leading a normal life.

She added: “He was in hospital every week with seizures. He had no quality of life really.

“Now, he can start going to school, we can plan holidays, and we can just be more normal.

“He still has learning difficulties and speech problems, so we’ll still have to deal with those.

“But the traumatic ambulances and visits to A&E are now going to be few and far between.”

Hannah thanked Kenilworth and Southam MP Jeremy Wright for the role he played in working behind the scenes to push for a licence, which had never been done before for someone with Alfie's condition, to be granted.

Mr Wright in turn praised Hannah and the rest of the family's dignity during their fight for Alfie.

Hannah added: "Ranting, raving, screaming and shouting is not who I am - I wanted my son to be safe but I wasn't going to sell my soul.

"Although the process was long, everyone we spoke to was very polite and nice. I think all along they (the Home Office) wanted to help us.

"They hadn't done this before so it was new for them too."

On Tuesday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced the Government would review the laws regarding the use of medical cannabis.

And Hannah said she would be following its progress closely, as well as trying to help families with similar cases to hers.

She added: "I will be keeping an eye on what's happening - I know what it's like to have a very sick child."

Anyone who is experiencing similar issues should contact medical cannabis campaign group End Our Pain