The mother of a Nelson teen receiving a controversial cannabis oil treatment says it is "early days" for his recovery.
Alex Renton after receiving Elixinol
Source: 1 NEWS
Rose Renton has kept a bedside vigil at Wellington Hospital for two months. Her son Alex is in "status epilepticus", a prolonged seizure.
The Government gave special approval for the cannabis oil treatment Elixinol to be used as a last resort, in an effort to stimulate Alex's brain and reduce his seizures.
The oil was brought in from the United States in liquid form. It is applied using a nasal tube which reaches Alex's stomach.
After eight days of the treatment, he is making progress, as doctors gradually reduce the sedation drugs.
"He opens his eyes most of the day and breathes on his own during the day," says Rose. "He cannot communicate."
Rose believes the natural extract still needs time to work, and it is "no quick fix". A brain scan on Monday revealed Alex was still experiencing seizures. He will remain sedated until seizures are not shown.
The family has been overwhelmed by support and interest from the public and media. Rose says patience is required, and some reports about Alex's condition have been inaccurate.
"This is new medical ground. It is not straightforward. We remain positive, however, we don't know the future. That's hard some days."
She credits the staff in the Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Hospital, who are caring for Alex.
"The hospital are working with us. Without hospital sedation, Alex wouldn't be here. People want a [cannabis oil] miracle, and so do I. But we are realists too."