Parents who supply cannabis to minors could face up to five years in prison
Carrie Blackwell would have done anything to help her dying son, Deryn. Even if that meant breaking the law.
Deryl suffered with a one in a billion form of cancer, and had been battling the disease since he was just 13.
“The doctors had said there was nothing more they could do,” said his mum Callie, 37. “We celebrated Deryn’s 14th birthday in hospital and then went to the hospice to wait.”
Without telling doctors, Callie and her husband Simon decided to give their son cannabis to ease his symptoms.
Speaking to Holly and Phil on This Morning, Callie said that the effects of the drug “blew my mind. It wasn’t what I expected.
“We noticed within half an hour he was chilled out, the anxiety stopped, he was able to relax.”
In an except from her new book The Boy In 7 Billion, published in the Mail on Sunday, Callie said: “We took a decision that will horrify many parents reading this – and horrified me, too.
“After all, I’d never seen anything positive come of smoking cannabis, and in my days working in nightclubs, illegal drugs had been my enemy.
“But if it could help my darling boy escape his daily torment, I was willing to try it.
“Over the coming days, my priority was allowing him to die with his faculties intact, so whenever Deryn felt a twinge somewhere, I would put another 5ml of the tincture underneath his tongue and, within a few minutes, he felt good again.”
But then doctors started to see a change in Deryn – his health appeared to be improving.
Doctors told Callie: “We’re no longer sure Deryn is dying.” Weeks later, Deryn was removed from the hospice. He’s now in remission.
Callie’s aware that what she’s doing isn’t necessarily ethical, or legal.
“That’s really why I’ve written the book. I had so many people contact me with very sick children saying: ‘we’re praying for a miracle like Deryn had,’ and I felt I had a duty to tell them the truth and I don’t believe it was a miracle.
“I am very scared of doing this because it is illegal but I feel I have to do it. And I don’t like the ‘cure’ word. But I do know Deryn is with us now.
“Through everything I always believed things happen for a reason and now I think maybe that reason is to tell Deryn’s story to others. And hopefully it may start a wider conversation about treatments for cancer and help others. Then, yes, it will all have been for a good reason.”
The Boy in 7 Billion is published by Mirror Books, on sale 6 April 2017 Special offer price of £11.