Saturday 24 June 2017

'I'm doing everything to save my daughter - you've betrayed us'

Vera Twomey-Barry speaking to Health Minister Simon Harris in Mallow. Photo: Provision
Vera Twomey-Barry speaking to Health Minister Simon Harris in Mallow. Photo: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

Health Minister Simon Harris was yesterday confronted in Mallow by two mothers desperate for help for their children.

Suzanne Kelly wants greater resources for her non-verbal daughter Angel (3), while Vera Twomey-Barry broke down and sobbed as she pleaded for cannabis oil to be sanctioned for her daughter Ava (6), who has Dravet syndrome.

"I am doing everything I can to help save my daughter," Ms Twomey-Barry cried. "I have been a member and I have voted for Fine Gael for the last 20 years of my life. You have betrayed us and let us down.

"I have stood outside that (Dáil) gate - the humiliation of standing outside that gate yesterday from 1.45pm until 7.30pm (seeking help)."

Mr Harris said he was trying to assist the family. "I have huge personal respect for you Vera - that is why I met you three times. As Minister for Health I want to do everything and anything to help Ava and any other patient. But I am not a doctor. I am not in a position to prescribe medication.

"The law is very clear - if we want to make a medicinal cannabis product available I need a doctor to make an application," he said.

Vera with her daugher Ava (6). Photo: David Conachy
Vera with her daugher Ava (6). Photo: David Conachy

Irish Independent

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