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UK: Callie Blackwell on giving her 'dying' son Deryn cannabis: I knew I was facing 14 years in jail if I was found out
Tuesday 24 Oct 2017
After watching her 14 year old son Deryn battle leukaemia and one in a billion form of cancer, Langerhans cell sarcoma, Callie was prepared to do anything to make her son better.
And as he lay in a hospice with just three days to live, she gave him cannabis oil in the hope it could help as Deryn planned his own funeral.
'I was on the brink of death, I was up for doing anything,' Deryn told Ruth, Coleen, Jane and Gloria while sitting in the audience. 'It wasn't going to hurt me anymore than what was already happening. I didn't worry [about Callie be arrested because cannabis is illegal] because, quite selfishly, if it didn't work I wouldn't be around to see what happened. And if it did work, it's fine.'
Callie explained, 'His nails were all falling off, and they wanted to amputate his hand. Five days after he started taking cannabis, his bandages had come off.
I couldn't tell the hospital staff why, the cannabis was hidden in a jar under this bed. Some of the hospice workers knew and called it, "the magic under the bed". Everything had been taken away from Deryn, there was no conventional treatment left. I was told, 'Something will get him.'
'It got to a point, I knew I was facing 14 years [in jail] if I was found out, but I would do every day of a 14 year sentence if it meant he was still here.'
Deryn is now a healthy 17 year old.
Callie clarified that cannabis didn't 'cured her son's cancers' - because he was actually in remission at the time. But she believes the class B drug 'had a profound effect' on the teenager's bone marrow, ultimately saving his life.
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