In 2014, young Tristan Forde was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome. With as many as 20 seizures a day, and none of the prescribed medications working, his family faced a difficult choice and a huge financial challenge. They knew that many parents were moving to Colorado to access CBD cannabis oil for epilepsy, but Ireland is a long way from Colorado.
It was then that the community of Dunmanway, West Cork showed what it was made of. After a public appeal, donations came flowing in, with the story spreading around Ireland like wildfire, drawing even more financial and emotional support. At last, Tristan’s mom, Yolande could take him to Colorado to get one last chance that might prove to be life-saving: cannabis oil.
CBD oil with a touch of THCa is cannabis oil for epilepsy
What the Forde family needed for Tristan was CBD oil with a little THCa. When THCa is heated, it transforms, becoming psychoactive, but in its unheated form, the compound is not psychotropic. Yolande was forced to bid her husband and her other son, Oscar, goodbye and travel halfway across the world to get the natural medicine she believed could make all the difference to Tristan.
Later, Oscar joined his mother and brother, but dad, John had to remain in Ireland in order to keep his job.
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Fast forward one year
In Dunmanway, it’s time to turn on the Christmas lights, and who should the community choose but young Tristan, home from the US with his mom in time for a proper family Christmas after a long separation. The community joined in sharing the emotional family reunion, and three-year-old Tristan got to flip the big switch that would illuminate the town’s festive light display.
But how did his cannabis oil treatment work? Was it all worthwhile? A beaming Yolande says her child has been “99% seizure free” since starting his cannabis oil treatment. She has brought some of the oil home with her, and soon, she may be able to get it at home in Ireland. Meanwhile, the government has passed a medical cannabis bill, and the family has found a European source of the cannabis oil that Tristan so desperately needs.
Pipping science to the post?
As medical trials on CBD for seizures reach their close with positive results, many parents are feeling vindicated for their decision to uproot their lives in the pursuit of a natural treatment for their children’s drug-resistant seizures. Of course, the sight of their children doing so much better is reward enough, but affirmation still matters.
Nevertheless, affirmation is the last thing on Yolande’s mind as she is reunited with her husband this Christmas. Telling her story to the Irish Examiner, she expressed her sincere gratitude for all the help and support the family received from its local community and ordinary Irish citizens that made the great journey to Colorado possible. It was certainly a sacrifice to undertake this odyssey, but the sight of little Tristan, glowing with health and developing normally, is enough to make any sacrifice worthwhile.