Mom, Mags McElligott, is not the first Irish mom to plead for cannabis medicine to be made available to a child.
It seems these mothers’ pleas are falling on deaf ears as the Irish Examiner publishes yet another appeal from a mom in utmost despair. Her 16-year-old daughter, Tina McElligott, has Alpers disease. It causes her to have multiple seizures on a daily basis, and she suffers from chronic pain.
How heartless can authorities be, one wonders? There is a medication out there, and it has passed the test of even the most stringent clinical trials. Cannabis can stop or at least reduce seizures, but still, they refuse to allow a child medicine.
Are we living in the dark ages? No.
Empty promises were made in February after a Health Products Regulatory Authority report advised an access program. But access to cannabis medicine still seems to be a long way from becoming a reality. While authorities drag their feet and sit in meetings, there are real people suffering.
Mags says the chances of patients having access to medical marijuana in the near future are lower than winning the lotto. The odds are stacked, and the one thing that Tina doesn’t have is time. Her condition is deteriorating fast, and any of the many seizures she has daily could strike the fatal blow.
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Howling with pain
Tina is in constant pain, literally howling in agony. It is unbearable for her family to witness when there’s nothing they can do to help. It is maddening to know there is a solution, but resorting to it is just not permitted.
Mom Mags says the only option is to take Tina to Spain for the treatment as the US option is impossible owing to the costs involved. It would cost €350,000 for treatment in the US.
Go fund me
Mags resorted to raising funds online, but she says the “go fund me” donations stopped because people think medical marijuana is available to patients in Ireland. However, this is far from the truth.
Tina had a major seizure recently. It lasted 20 minutes, and it was one of the worst she ever experienced. She has four or more seizures a day, but they don’t last that long. Every seizure takes life-force from Tina, and her screams of pain leave her mom crying with her. She feels helpless as if she is failing her child as a mother, but there is nothing she can do to help.
Stop the seizures
If only something could stop Tina’s seizures, her mother would have hope again. But despite all the scientific evidence in favor of cannabis medicine for seizures, Tina can’t get her treatment.
Tina is in palliative care, and her family doesn’t know if they should tell her she may be dying. It seems unfair not to tell her, and with life-saving medicine, she might survive or at least live longer.
Cannabis medicine: what if?
What if Tina gets cannabis? Could it stop or reduce her agonizing seizures? Perhaps she will not live long enough to answer that question. Meanwhile, governments preside over tragedy instead of doing something as simple as allowing cannabis medicine that could save lives.