This mother is walking from Cork to the Dáil to get help for her sick daughter

"I can wait no longer."
This mother is walking from Cork to the Dáil to get help for her sick daughter

Those were the words of Vera Twomey, who today began to walk from her home in Cork to Dublin to protest at the Dáil. She has been petitioning the Government to grant permission for her daughter to use medicinal marijuana.

Her daughter, six-year-old Ava Barry, was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a rare, drug-resistant epilepsy which causes her to have hundreds of seizures daily.

Her parents believe the use of cannabidiol (CBD Oil) would have a positive impact on Ava's life, as it has had a proven high success rate in reducing seizures in similar patients in the US. However, as it is an extract from an illegal garden plant — cannabis — it is not available for use here.

"We beg the government to see that a small child like Ava has battled every day with seizures lasting from two minutes to two hours," her parents wrote when asking the public to petition the Minister for Health, Simon Harris. "She has astonished doctors with her progress and we are proud of her but imagine what she could achieve if we accessed medication that is proved to work."

In desperation, Vera has today chosen to bring her plight directly to the Dáil, after Ava suffered a number of medical complaints during the night.

"Ava's down with an ear infection, spiking temperature and had massive seizure last night. I can wait no longer. As a protest I am leaving the house this morning to walk to Dublin," Vera wrote on her Facebook page.

"If anyone from Aghabullogue or from anywhere in the country who supports Ava's situation wants to walk a mile of the road with me it starts this morning. We can wait no longer. Charlotte's Webb [Hemp extract oil] has maybe saved her life last night. Without it Ava's seizures may not have stopped at all but we need more and if I don't do something maybe we will lose Ava. We just can't lose Ava.

"If you or someone you love needs medicinal cannabis what would you do? I hope I'm doing the right thing but the progress isn't coming quick enough."

Vera is calling for people to join her along the way, and she has already received support from local radio station RedFM, who are sending a jeep with with food, water and supplies to sustain her along her journey.

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