Nelson teen Alex Renton has died.
Nineteen-year-old Renton suffered from “status epilepticus”, a kind of prolonged seizure, and died in hospital last night with his family at his side.
A post on his Facebook support page on Wednesday night said: “He was surrounded by his family, listening to his own music with a tummy of mums food. We thank you all from our hearts as you kept us strong during this journey.”
Renton was admitted to a Wellington hospital on April 8, suffering from intense seizures, and was put into an induced coma for two months. Just last month, he was given the green light to be treated with the controversial medicinal cannabis oil treatment, Elixinol.
After his first treatment of CBD (cannabinoid) which had to be imported from the United States, Renton’s mother said he was starting to have a normal life again. Over the past two weeks he began breathing on his own, opened his eyes, and his seizures had dramatically subsided.
His mother Rose Renton fought hard to push the treatment and the case almost unintentionally became the face of the medicinal cannabis movement in New Zealand with huge public support nationwide.
Rose says she has no regrets allowing her son to be treated with medicinal cannabis because he was finally “calm”.
Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, who approved a petition to the Government, told TVNZ that prescribing the drug had been worth it. “I’m sad that the outcome hasn’t been favourable for Alex,” he said.
A memorial organised by Renton’s family will be held on Saturday, July 11 at Broadgreen Historic House in Stoke, Nelson.