Connect with us


Mum petitions for medical cannabis on the NHS in bid to save her son

Sarah Sudgen is desperate to access medical cannabis for her three-year-old son Isaac.



Mum's petition for medical cannabis on the NHS in bid to save her son
Isaac was diagnosed with the rare gene mutation, MED12, in 2020.

A desperate mum has launched a new petition calling for NHS access to medical cannabis, which she believes could save her son.

Sarah Sugden, a 29-year-old single mum to Isaac, aged three, has launched a petition in a desperate attempt to access medical cannabis for him.

Isaac was diagnosed with the rare gene mutation, MED12, in 2020 and is the only one in the UK known to have his specific variation.

MED12 related disorders primarily affect boys and can cause epilepsy alongside developmental delay, dysmorphic features and behavioural problems.

Isaac currently experiences up to 80 life-threatening seizures a day and his doctors are said to have warned Sarah that he may not live longer than 18 months without intervention.

He is now on his 13th conventional anti-epileptic and has tried alternative options such as the ketogenic diet. 

Sarah says her son is “trapped in his own head day after day” and doesn’t respond to anything.

Read Sarah and Isaac’s story here 

Having done her research and spoken with many other parents of children with similar conditions, Sarah is confident that medical cannabis could help him. But despite it being legalised in 2018 she is unable to access the medicine either privately or through the NHS. 

Only three prescriptions have been issued through the NHS in almost four years, and the only remaining paediatric prescriber in the private sector has now closed their books due to demand. 

Around 80 children with refractory epilepsy currently have private prescriptions for whole plant cannabis, and many of these patients have seen huge improvements in their overall seizure reduction and quality of life. 

Mum's petition for medical cannabis on the NHS in bid to save her son

Sarah told Cannabis Health earlier this year that she is considering travelling overseas, feeling that it is her only option to access it for Isaac.

“My gut tells me it’s what he needs,” she said.

“Nothing else has worked and I need to know I have tried everything.

“It would be great if it stopped the seizures, but it’s about giving him a better quality of life and enabling him to be a bit more cognitively aware, because at the moment he’s just existing, he doesn’t live.”

Sarah’s petition which has several hundred signatures already, states: “We are at breaking point. We simply want the chance to try medical cannabis which has been life transforming for other children with similar extreme forms of epilepsy. 

“We need the system to change. How can a drug that is prescribed to 3 children on the NHS not be accessible to all that need it and how can private clinics be blocked from accepting new patients?

She adds: “I have started this petition to say my child matters, his health and his happiness matter. This medicine can’t just be accessible to some and not to all.  

“Please join my call on the Government to intervene and break the deadlock.”

You can sign the petition here 


Home » Advocacy » Mum petitions for medical cannabis on the NHS in bid to save her son

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag


Cannabis Health is a journalist-led news site. Any views expressed by interviewees or commentators do not reflect our own. All content on this site is intended for educational purposes, please seek professional medical advice if you are concerned about any of the issues raised.

Copyright © 2023 PP Intelligence Ltd.