Father treats his daughter’s seizures with medical cannabis
By: Rachel Eddie
Source: DailyMail UK
The father of a four-year-old girl who has not suffered a seizure since he began treating her with ‘life-saving’ medical cannabis maintains breaking the law is his only option.
Each of the thousands of seizures little Katelyn has suffered have caused brain damage and had the potential to be fatal, after she was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome when she was six-months-old.
But the NSW Central Coast girl has not been hospitalised with a seizure in 10-months, since her father Michael Lambert began importing cannabis paste from Denmark.
Despite the possibility he will be sentenced to prison on charges of possession and cultivation of the drug, Michael said the treatment has been his only option, he told Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
‘You can’t make a father watch his daughter die,’ Michael told the program, which aired on Sunday night.
‘Any law that says I have to watch her die and not look after her is a stupid law, and needs to be changed.’
His father, Sydney financier Barry Lambert, has supported the use of medical cannabis despite the charges hanging over his son’s head.
‘We’re just doing what’s right,’ Barry said.
The grandfather last year donated $33.7 million to the University of Sydney’s research into the treatment, marking one of the biggest private grants to medical research in Australian history.
The family said Katelyn improved ‘from the first day’ of consuming medical cannabis.
‘I just said to my wife: ‘Holy smokes, it works,’ Michael said.
‘Instead of all this noise in her head, it was just clear instead of jerking and dribbling.
The father reiterated medical cannabis does not give his daughter a high, and confirmed Katelyn takes other medication.
He said it had given the family hope, despite a low life expectancy for children with Dravet syndrome.
‘It’s an amazing plant. It’s given us amazing hope that there is a future for Katelyn.’
Michael said he remained hopeful despite the harm her seizures have caused.
‘We can see the damage but we also know she’s got a growing brain. She’s got a hope. She’s got a future. If we can stop the seizures then we can give her that future,’ he said.
He was arrested and charged last year with cultivation and possession of marijuana, and has pleaded not-guilty in the hopes he will be let off on medical necessity.
‘I’m not gonna have a criminal record. I’m gonna win,’ Michael told 60 Minutes.
Barry said the longest seizure Katelyn has ever suffered lasted two-and-a-half hours, and Dravet syndrome once had her hospitalised every few weeks until she began treating it with medical cannabis.
‘It appears it works miracles for her. But that’s why the research needs to be done to understand the science behind it and to prove beyond doubt that it works and what the long-term impacts would be,’ Barry told Daily Mail Australia last year.
‘It’s very hurtful when they have a seizure. No one wants to see a child sick when they’re young,’ he said at the time.
Barry is a former Commonwealth Bank executive and is the chairman of Count Financial.
He came in at number 145 on the finance magazine’s Rich 200 list in 2014 with an estimated net worth of $350 million.
Source: Daily Mail UK
Author: Rachel Eddie
Published: September, 11 2016
URL: DailyMail UK