'We are just so looking forward to Christmas' - Medicinal cannabis licence for Ava

Crusading mum Vera Twomey hopes to bring her daughter, Ava, home from the Hague within days after the health minister granted a licence for medicinal cannabis.

'We are just so looking forward to Christmas' - Medicinal cannabis licence for Ava

“There is still some paperwork to be done but we are on our way home to Cork,” a delighted Vera said.

Simon Harris confirmed in the Dáil yesterday that he has signed the special licence for Ava who has been undergoing medically supervised medicinal cannabis treatment in the Hague. It is the third such licence he has signed following the valid submission of relevant documents supported by a monitoring consultant.

Ava, who turned eight on Sunday, has Dravet syndrome — a rare form of epilepsy which results in violent and severe seizures. Following years of campaigning for access to medicinal cannabis, which included a protest walk from Cork to Dublin, rallies outside the Dáil and hunger strikes, Vera moved to the Netherlands last summer to secure the potentially life-saving treatment for her daughter.

Under the care of a consultant paediatric neurologist, Ava has been receiving medicinal CBD and THC treatment at a hospital. Doctors administered one drop of CBD oil twice a day and one drop of THC oil three times a day, and her condition has improved dramatically. Vera said Ava has been seizure free for months. Her progress led to the decision here to grant the licence.

“So many blockades were put in front of us but it’s been worth it. Ava’s worth it. This has saved her life,” said Vera. “I just feel so happy now. It’s been such a long and hard journey but I just feel so relieved that I can bring her home where she can make better progress. She will be so much more at ease at home with her family. It’s going to be even better and I can’t wait to see how well she’s going to be.”

Vera, a mum of four, who was stopped at Dublin Airport earlier this year when she declared she was bringing medicinal cannabis from Spain, vowed to continue campaigning for others to access the treatment here.”

“We are just so looking forward to Christmas. I’ve a lot to do but we are just so delighted to be coming home,” she said.

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