A Tyrone schoolboy has made history after becoming the first person in Ireland or the UK to be prescribed medicinal cannabis.
Little Billy Caldwell – who suffers from epilepsy – was previously forced to travel to the US to get the oil which has kept him seizure-free for 84 days.
Now the 11-year-old is set to continue the life-changing treatment at home after a local GP penned the groundbreaking prescription.
Speaking to the Irish Sun, Billy’s mum Charlotte revealed she was “overjoyed” by the victory.
She said: “I’m crying happy tears here today.
“I’m just over the moon.
“My whole objective has been for Billy to get this medication at home in his own country – but to get it under medical supervision, which is so important.
“It’s been such a long, hard battle.”
Castlederg lad Billy was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy as a toddler and given just six months to live.
And his devoted mum was down to the last four doses of the vital drug she brought home from the States earlier this year.
Campaigning Charlotte – who risked jail in order to obtain the CBD (cannabidiol) oil for her son – explained: “Billy is the first child in the UK, and also the first child in Ireland, to get it on prescription.
“There’s no going out of the country – he will be supplied through an NHS chemist here in his own country.
“Medical cannabis in Billy’s case is a good alternative treatment.
“Over the seven months we spent in LA it helped to control his seizures.
“But I would never promote it as a ‘cure all’ either.”
Battler Billy is now set to get the supplement legally from trailblazing Irish pharma company GreenLight Medicines.
And medical cannabis could soon be used to treat serious illnesses like cancer and multiple sclerosis south of the border too after a bill was passed in the Dail in December.
Praising the Castlederg doc who wrote the prescription, mum Charlotte vowed to continue her fight to have similar legislation dubbed ‘Billy’s Law’ passed in the North.
She said: “Dr Brendan O’Hare has been our doctor for years – he’s a brilliant NHS doctor.
“No doctor in the South as yet has written a prescription [for CBD].
“I really truly believe Billy himself has opened the doors for a lot of other families who could avail of this.”