Friday 28 July 2017

Mother walks 260km in medicinal cannabis plea for ill daughter

The end of a long road, Vera Twomey places her hands on the gates of Dail Eireann following completion of her protest march from Cork in support of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regualation Bill. Photo: Gerry Mooney
The end of a long road, Vera Twomey places her hands on the gates of Dail Eireann following completion of her protest march from Cork in support of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regualation Bill. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Gavin White

A mother who walked from Cork to Dublin to highlight her daughter's need for medicinal cannabis said it was the "most challenging thing" she has ever done.

Vera Twomey travelled more than 260km after she was left frustrated by Health Minister Simon Harris and the Department of Health, who she claims have "changed the goalposts" on accessing medicinal cannabis.

"I began walking from Mallow because our daughter's life has been in a precarious situation since she was diagnosed with her disease (a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome) seven years ago."

Ms Twomey said legalisation of medicinal cannabis was "absolutely necessary" to help reduce her daughter Ava's seizures.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority has recommended access to medicinal cannabis under a monitored, five-year programme, confined to a number of specific illnesses.

HPRA chief executive Lorraine Nolan told the Oireachtas Health Committee the authority could not recommend widespread access to cannabis for the treatment of a range of medical conditions.

However, Ms Nolan said access could be facilitated under appropriately-controlled circumstances.

The Department of Health has yet to comment.

Irish Independent

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