A CORK woman who secured the delivery of medicinal cannabis for her daughter after Covid-19 left them unable to travel is calling for the arrangement to be made permanent.
Medicinal cannabis campaigner, Vera Twomey fought a long battle to secure the medication to help her daughter Ava's debilitating seizures. The Aghabullogue woman had previously been travelling to Holland every 12 weeks to secure the drug for her daughter.
However, when the pandemic hit, then Minister for Health, Simon Harris set up an initiative for patients with a Ministerial license to have medicinal cannabis delivered to their homes. Ms Twomey voiced her concern that this is still just a temporary measure, adding that families in similar positions are continuing to be left uncertain about the future.
Now, she is calling for deliveries to be extended outside of emergency measures.
"Before this, the government and department told us there was no way that this could be delivered," she said.
"We had previously been travelling every 12 weeks to Holland for Ava's medication. It seems so crazy now. When you talk about it, it hardly makes sense.
"Since Covid arrived things changed, but this is not being delivered on a permanent basis. There are going to be a lot of concerns going into the future. Sometimes I wonder if I should even still be talking about this, given the number of people who are dying from Covid-19. On the other hand, there are still other little children like Ava who need our help."
She underlined just how much the drug has changed their lives.
"Ava will be 11 in November," she said.
"We are now heading for four years without an emergency admission to CUH. Up to that, she used to spend up to five months of every year in hospital. The ambulance was at our home every week. They knew our address and how to find it. They knew so much about us. It got to a point where they were more like house guests than paramedics."
She reassured people looking to access medicinal cannabis for their child that there is still hope.
"Now GPs are able to prescribe with a letter of support from a consultant. There are still people out there who may not be aware of that. It would really benefit them to know this."