A Mother’s Brave Efforts
“She was dying, she could barely walk or talk, was unable to toilet herself and slept a similar cycle to a newborn,” said Cheri O’Connell to The Herald Sun, a mother of an epileptic child living in Victoria, Australia.
“We had basically been told that there was not too much more we could do, just to take her home and to love her and maybe if you are lucky she’ll get to nine, we didn’t see her having a future at all,” Ms. O’Connell said.
Cheri O’Connell and her daughter’s story took a turn for the better, however, after a controversial treatment yielded some miraculous results. In January last year, her desperate parents started her on a cannabis mix known as a tincture, after a cocktail of prescribed pharmaceutical medications left her heavily sedated while failing to stop the seizures.
In developments that have surprised doctors, one year later, Tara is a bubbly eight-year-old and her wheelchair is collecting dust in the corner of the family’s home in central Victoria.
Senior clinical neuropsychologist Dr Silvana Micallef at Austin Health saw the results for herself, stating she saw “significantly improved [cognitive performances]” after only 12 months. “Since commencing medical cannabis (together with the cessation of her seizures), there is a convincing clinical history of improvements in all facets of her presentation as reported by her mother,” Dr. Micallef wrote.
Remarkably, the only ‘side-effects’ reported were increased appetite and fatigue. The treatment O’Connell was receiving only contained a minuscule amount of THC, the cannabinoid molecule responsible for the ‘high’ feeling associated with cannabis use.
A Widespread Phenomenon
Unfortunately, Tara wasn’t the only child suffering from seizures in the family. Her 11-year-old brother, Sean, also had a case of epilepsy, milder in comparison to Tara’s condition but debilitating nonetheless. Sean could barely write due to his condition, a challenge for a budding young artist.
After administering Sean a liquid cannabis concentration, his disability swiftly dissipated.
After an investigation, The Herald Sun discovered that a number of other children (approximately 70) across Australia are being administered medical cannabis by school staff. These people did not make any public statements however, due to the illegal status of medical cannabis in Australia.
Cheri O’Connell is calling for the go-ahead on more medical cannabis studies. Parents of children with incapacitating ailments should have the right to treat their children with any treatment that works, especially if other treatments are not. 70 percent of children respond positively to seizure medication, but should the other 30 percent have to suffer? Not according to the O’Connell family.
“We had to break the law or see her die. Any parent will do whatever it takes to make a sick child better.”
The use of medical cannabis has become widespread. Old taboos and propaganda-based beliefs surrounding cannabis have dissolved in our current era of self-awareness and information accessibility. The results are in, cannabis works. By spreading this knowing, you could be saving the lives of so many people who are suffering and who don’t know about the remarkable healing benefits of this little green plant.