Ava Barry, who suffered from Dravet Syndrome and whose mother, Vera Twomey, had campaigned for access to medicinal cannabis to treat the rare form of epilepsy which caused her to have daily seizures, passed away peacefully in a Cork hospital on Friday surrounded by her family.
Campaign for Legal Access to Medicinal Cannabis
Vera Twomey walked from Cork to Leinster House in Dublin on two occasions to highlight her daughter’s plight. MS Twomey gave numerous interviews over a three-year period, stating that she was desperate to gain access to THC medicines to prevent her daughter’s severe epilepsy episodes. In 2017, the then Irish Minister for Health, Simon Harris, granted a license for the use of medicinal cannabis by Ava.
Prior to obtaining medicinal cannabis, Ava could have up to twenty-three seizures in the space of a day, which Twomey described as terrifying experiences. Her fear was that Ava would end up brain-damaged or could die. Ambulances were called so regularly for Ava that the family stopped having to provide their address when calling.
A Tragic Loss
Ava is survived by her parents Vera and Paul and siblings Michael, Sophia and Elvera Mae.
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The Barry family’s tragedy highlights the need for greater access to medicinal cannabis for people suffering from severe forms of epilepsy. It also stresses the importance of constant research into the benefits of alternative medicine in treating severe medical conditions.