There’s no denying how far Cole Thomson has come since he started taking his ‘miracle’ drug.
Looking at the picture of health standing proudly in his pristine white taekwondo suit, fists clenched and with a huge smile, the brave youngster is a far cry from what he looked like just three years ago.
Confined to a wheelchair, his frail little body ravaged by multiple crippling epileptic seizures a day, his despairing family could only watch his dramatic deterioration, fearing for his life.
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Now back at Master Hutton Fitness in East Kilbride, the nine-year-old fighter is living proof that medical cannabis is changing the lives of children with epilepsy.
The family are waiting to hear whether a motion in Parliament by East Kilbride MP Collette Stevenson has gained enough support for a members’ debate on access to medical cannabis for children with drug-resistant epilepsy.
If it wins all-party support, it will be the first such debate heard in the Holyrood House.
Mum Lisa Quarrell told Lanarkshire Live: “Cole has been practicing taekwondo since the age of five, but when his seizures left him unable to walk and talk he was unfortunately not fit enough to continue.
“It was really overwhelming for Cole and me because Master Hutton Fitness is a fantastic facility and teaches kids so much more than taekwondo.
“Cole tried to go back to before COVID, but his confidence was still low and he was still battling PTSD after what he had been through.”
Like most kids his age, Cole started watching the popular Karate Kid film fallout Cobra Kai during confinement, the Netflix series giving him the desire to get back to martial arts.
“He started a few weeks ago and loves it, his face lights up as he walks in and has already made some new friends,” Lisa added.
“Master Hutton, Jack Louban and the team welcomed Cole and he instantly felt part of the team. It’s another big step forward for Cole and I’m so proud and happy to see him. come back to do what he loves.
Mark Hutton and his family have supported Cole’s campaign from the very beginning and are making a monthly donation to help fund his private cannabis oil prescription.
Cole receives Bedrolite privately as his NHS consultant is not allowed to prescribe medical cannabis without a license due to a lack of strong evidence of the drug’s safety, quality or efficacy.
However, Lisa maintains that Cole’s “miracle” drug saved her life.
With a three-year battle for government funding to come to nothing, the family struggle to find £1,300 every month to pay for the medicine and have already shelled out £80,000 to keep the youngster from having seizures for this period.
Master Hutton said: “Lisa, Cole and her brother Dylan have been with us since the kids were babies.
“The least we could do was help when we heard what the family was going through.
“We’re all thrilled to have Cole back, it’s inspiring to see him back on the floor. And he’s flying, the difference in him is spectacular.
“Lisa is a warrior for her children.”
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