Telford girl with epilepsy begins treatment despite lockdown

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image copyrightLucy Richardson
image captionSienna Richardson has been diagnosed with Landau Kleffner syndrome

A six-year-old girl with a rare form of epilepsy has been able to start her new treatment, despite being unable to travel abroad due to coronavirus.

Sienna Richardson's family believe medicinal cannabis oil will offer her the best outcome but have been told it is unavailable on the NHS.

They began fundraising to take her to the Netherlands, but have called off their appeal because of the pandemic.

Using money raised so far they have secured a private prescription for her.

Sienna was diagnosed with Landau Kleffner syndrome after showing problems with her communication skills.

If untreated, she could have permanent speech and language difficulties.

Steroids have not been successful and, while surgery would be an option, it could leave Sienna with paralysis of her left side, so her family believe medicinal cannabis oil Bedrolite offers her best hope.

image copyrightLucy Richardson
image captionSienna's family were told she could not get Bedrolite on the NHS

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 when the UK began its lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"It wasn't fair really to keep asking people donate," Sienna's mother Lucy Richardson said.

It also meant they were unable to travel abroad, particularly as the end of Sienna's steroid treatment meant she has a low immune system.

image copyrightLucy Richardson
image captionSienna began her new treatment this week

"We kept thinking it would be months until we could get the medication and we didn't know how she might decline," Mrs Richardson added.

But using the money raised so far, the family found a consultant on Harley Street who will prescribe and import the drug legally, with Sienna beginning treatment this week.

"It is a massive relief, we are over the moon," Mrs Richardson said.

Sienna is having regular consultations over Skype and her family hope they should be able to see improvements within the next six weeks.

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