Wednesday 19 September 2018

'We'll have Christmas at home, it'll be good' - Vera Twomey and her daughter Ava return to Ireland

Vera Twomey-Barry from Aghabullogue. co. Cork pictured with her daughter Ava, who suffers from Dravet's Syndrome. Pic: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Vera Twomey-Barry from Aghabullogue. co. Cork pictured with her daughter Ava, who suffers from Dravet's Syndrome. Pic: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

Vera Twomey and her daughter Ava Barry are looking forward to spending Christmas at home with their family after they returned to Ireland.

Ava (8) suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravat Syndrome and she moved to the Netherlands with her devoted mother Vera in June to begin medicinal cannabis treatment.

Vera was over the moon to announce last week that they were granted a licence that will allow Ava to continue her treatment back home in Ireland.

They were delighted to finally be reunited with Ava's father Paul and her siblings Sophia, Michael and Elvera Mae on Saturday in Cork Airport.

Vera said that medicinal cannabis has drastically improved life for Ava, who previously suffered up to 20 seizures per day.

She told TV3 News: "I've got a licence for medical cannabis to bring Ava back into the country, this is what we wanted all the time and we have it now...

"She hasn't been admitted to hospital since October 2016, previous to the medicinal cannabis our Ava would have spent at least five months of the year in hospital."

Read More: Christmas wish come true: Ava Twomey to return home to Ireland to continue medicinal cannabis treatment

Paul added that Ava now also has "way more words and she's got better balance."

They will have to travel to the Netherlands every three months now to collect Ava's prescription but for now they are looking forward to enjoying the festive season at home in Aghabullogue, Co Cork.

Vera said: "We'll have Christmas at home, it'll be good."

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin was there to greet Vera and Ava at the airport and said he is delighted to see them back in Ireland.

He told TV3 News: "It's a great relief for the family and it's a great advance as well in where we are in terms of Ava having access to this medicine.

"It's been a long journey and I think the impact of the Dutch neurologist, her willingness to observe for over ten weeks and to interact with doctors here was the key to unlocking this issue and the licence being granted once the application went in."

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