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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C

Family of Ava Twomey separated as she remains in Netherlands for medicinal cannabis treatment

Ava’s mother Vera led a public campaign for her daughter to access medicinal cannabis in Ireland. / YouTube

THE FAMILY OF Ava Twomey, a young girl who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, has said they must now be separated so that can Ava can access medicinal cannabis which is unavailable in Ireland.

Speaking to TV3 News, parents Vera Twomey and Paul Barry described how their daughter’s condition has improved vastly since she began receiving a medicinal form of cannabis in the Netherlands.

Vera Twomey has been leading an ongoing campaign to allow her daughter Ava to receive such products in Ireland to help with her condition. Ava (7) suffers from a severe form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, and can suffer from several seizures a day.

The family lives in a rented apartment in The Hague, after moving to the Netherlands in June. With the school year starting again for Ava’s siblings, Vera has returned to Cork with them while Paul has remained behind.

Vera Twomey said: “If we knew when we’d be back together again it’d be easier. But we haven’t.

When it comes to the point where the doctors say to you ‘take her home and make her comfortable’, that is the most horrific experience. That’s why you have to go and look for the answer ourselves. We have found the solution.

In the report, it is said that Ava’s seizures have completely stopped since she started taking one drop of cannabis oil three times a day in the Netherlands.

Theresa Leader, a nurse and family friend, said: “She comes here and gets the medicine and she’s completely changed. She’s happy and aware of her surroundings.”

Ava remains in the Netherlands with her father Paul, while Vera has returned home to Cork with their other two children to go to school.

“Me and Ava are going to be here now,” Paul told TV3 News. “The rest of the kids and Vera, my wife, have gone home. We were told to go away and get evidence, and get this, that and the other, and no-one wants to see it.”

Vera Twomey had held multiple discussions with Minister for Health Simon Harris, who had told her that the only way that Ava would be able to access medicinal cannabis – which is not licensed to be prescribed in this manner in Ireland – would be if her consultant applied for dispensation.

Speaking to reporters today, Harris reiterated: “If a medical clinician in this country, if a consultant in this country, believes that any person, child or adult, requires a substance that is not legal medicine they can seek a licence from my department.

As of now, I have no licences pending in my department.

Read: Vera Twomey stopped at Dublin Airport attempting to bring medicinal cannabis into the country

Read: Vera Twomey to march in Cork as Ava’s ear infection brings on seizure

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