Teen's coma recovery 'amazing' - mother
The mother of a teenager who had been in an induced coma in Wellington Hospital since early April says it is "amazing" to see her son showing signs of consciousness.
Rose Renton visited Alex early on Friday morning and saw he was opening his eyes and responding to her voice.
Renton, 19, has been in hospital since April 8 in "status epilepticus", a kind of prolonged seizure. His mother pleaded for approval to use a medicinal cannabidiol, Elixinol, after two months of attempting other treatments had failed.
Doctors were expecting to receive a dose of Elixinol, from the United States on Friday after associate health minister Peter Dunne approved the treatment for Renton on Tuesday.
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Rose flew to Nelson on Friday morning to celebrate her daughter's 10th birthday and will fly back to Wellington to see her son on Saturday.
Alex's older sister and father were with him in Wellington.
His sedation was being lifted slowly and gently, Rose said.
"At this stage there is no signs of seizures. We have tried lifting sedation before and had to put it back on, so it is still really early. It's the first time he has opened his eyes in response to voices, that for us as a family is huge," she said.
"His MRI is clear, which means they (seizures ) have not caused damage in the brain which is wonderful, and he is responding to voices, so he will calm down when I speak to him which is lovely but it is really early on in lifting, it can take days."
It could take weeks for the sedation drugs to leave his system, making him fully conscious, she said.
"It's really early on but it is nice for everyone to know that he is voice responsive."
She said there had been a lot of support for Alex through New Zealand.
"It's been a huge week, anticipation, waiting for that next step in treatment."
When the oil arrived, she understood it would initially be administered in small dosages.
"I've been told it can have a beneficial effect quite quickly so that is what we are hopeful for."
Her son would have a lot of rehabilitation work to do, she said.
They did not want to overload him with information, they had been repeatedly telling him he was safe and in hospital, she said.
The support for the family was "incredible".
"It's really heartwarming, something New Zealand is behind, as a mum that is probably the most lovely feeling."