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Friday 24 March 2017

'It’s given Tristan a chance at life' - Mum returns home from the US with her son (2) after receiving life-changing cannabis oil

Yvonne Cahalane, whose son Tristan (2) has Dravet Syndrome
Yvonne Cahalane, whose son Tristan (2) has Dravet Syndrome
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A young family are returning home to Ireland from the US after receiving life-changing cannabis oil for their two-year-old son.

Yvonne Cahalane, whose son Tristan (2) has Dravet Syndrome, moved to the US last year to avail of cannabis oils for medical use for Tristan.

On the week before Christmas last year Yvonne Cahalane and Tristan moved to Colorado in the US to allow Tristan to receive cannabis to treat his very rare form of epilepsy.

Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show, Yvonne said she can return home to Ireland and her husband after spending a year abroad, as the cannabis oils are now being produced in Europe.

“The flights are booked. We are coming home to Cork for definite,” Yvonne said from Colorado.

“We have been at this non-stop for the last two years. Finally December 3 we will be landing back in Cork. We’ve been working day and night to ensure that we have the cannabis oil when we get home.”

Yvonne told Patricia Messinger that the cannabis oil has helped Tristan immensely with his condition.

“Tristan is doing amazing. He’s had more reductions in his medications, so he’s still only taking two medications but he’s being able to reduce it a little. His oil we won’t be able to bring back from America but we are getting it made for him in Europe so that’s how we’ve overcome that.”

A doctor from Colorado will be coming home to Ireland with Yvonne to try and help other families in the same position.

“We will be coming back with one of our doctors from Colorado. He will be staying with us for a few days and we have nearly a full week of appointments, meeting officials and meeting medical people in the hope that his expertise will help anybody else.

“I can’t believe we’re actually going home. It’s going to be super.

“Christmas will be the best one ever no matter what it includes because we will be together. Initially we will be busy. We’ve a lot of appointments and a lot of things to do to help. We’ll be glad to do it on Irish soil.”

Yvonne said the toughest part about moving to the US was the separation of the family as her husband John had to stay in Ireland for his job.

“I said to John a few times about the isolation. If you’re having a tough day or Tristan is having a tough day you just have to get on with it. It’s all for the greater good. There was always progression.

“It is the separation that was the toughest. It’s missing home as well. But the two boys are happy to be together. It’s been worth everything though seeing Tristan improve. It’s changed all of our lives. It’s given Tristan a chance at life.

“He’ll be sleeping in his ow room and I won’t have to be checking on him all night to make sure he’s alive.”

Yvonne said she’s learned a lot from her young son as he battled his illness.

“He’s a tough cookie, he teaches us how to bounce back and keep smiling.”

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