Relief as US medic rules Billy is suitable for brain surgery

Relief as US medic rules Co Tyrone boy Billy Caldwell is suitable for brain surgery but hope is tainted with fear about the op and anxiety over the medical bill.

A specialist in the US has said Castlederg boy Billy Caldwell is suitable for brain surgery which could save his life. His mother Charlotte has been campaigning to get her 11-year-old son the help he needs.

And five days of round-the-clock tests on Billy, she has been told he is a good candidate for an operation which is intended to prevent potentially deadly epileptic seizures.

Charlotte, 49, has been in Los Angeles where Billy is being cared for by expert Dr Douglas Nordli. And now she got the news she was waiting for – her boy can be helped.


She said: “We have been waiting to heart this and it is such a relief because without the surgery we know that Billy could die very suddenly and without warning. Of course there are risks with the surgery but we have no choice so I will just have to come to terms with the risks and push on.”

When Billy was two years old he was sent home from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast with advice for his mother to make him as comfortable as possible.


But the message was clear. The Co Tyrone boy would die without treatment and the treatment he needed was not available in Northern Ireland.

The youngster suffers from intractable and status epilepsy which means the seizures he suffers cannot be controlled by medication or diet.

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