A determined mum who walked from Cork to Dublin in a bid to secure medicinal cannabis for her daughter is finishing the journey in a wheelchair.
Vera Twomey, whose daughter Ava (7) suffers from Dravet Syndrome which involves intractable epilepsy that cannot be controlled by normal medications, has lead the charge for access to medicinal cannabis.
She undertook to walk from her home in Cork to Leinster House in an effort to urge Health Minister Simon Harris to grant access to medicinal cannabis for patients with certain conditions. She suffered a knee injury along the way, meaning she needs to finish the journey in a wheelchair.
Since taking cannabis oil her daughter's condition has improved dramatically.
"Ava's seizures can go on for up to an hour sometimes and the result of Ava being oxygen deprived withing in a seizure could mean that she could come out of it brain damanged. She might not come out of it at all and the seizures could take her life.
"We have used CBT oil since October and it's been successful," she told Independent.ie
"It's altered her whole existence, the epilepsy doesn't control her lives and our life anymore."
Her daughter is starting to talk, eating more, sleeping better she said. But in recently the instance of seizures has increased again.
Joined by a band of supporters Vera was accompanied by TD Gino Kenny on much of her walk and will join her at the Dáil today.
Vera has received overwhelming public support for her campaign.
"It just goes to show that the ordinary person knows that this is right... we are only asking for help for a little girl," she said.
Minister Harris has said he his willing to meet with Vera and Ava's dad Paul but she said she has not been given a time or a venue yet.
A young mother sobbed as she confronted Health Minister Simon Harris during his Cork hospital tour today over the ongoing delay in getting life-saving cannabis oil treatment for her daughter.