• Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Another Mama Bear Fighting Bureaucrats for Her Son's Life

Spotted a headline today from Western Australia Today, about another mother fighting The Man for her child’s life-saving cannabis medicine:

Hospital delay threatens 11-year-old’s access to ‘crucial’ medication


THE SCOOP

Jeez, I hate finding these sad stories about sick children and their Mama Bear mothers who have to fight so hard – in 2 directions at once, against the disease that’s crippling their children and against bureaucrats who don’t seem to care.


And then I realize that perhaps I’m not finding these stories, but they’re finding me, because they know that these kids are the reason I became a cannabis advocate and created The American Cannabis Report: to tell their stories to whoever will listen. Nothing but heartache for yet another mother that heartless bureaucrats have underestimated.

On the one hand I hate sharing these stories, but they’re such important reminders that cannabis is life-saving medicine, and needs to be legalized worldwide.


(Special shout out to Susan Soares for providing The State of Cannabis News Hour as the campfire around which we've shared 1,000 Stories already.)


Today’s little spark of rebellious hope comes from Perth Australia where Suzanne Chellen is a mother who has that terminator-look in her eye that says “I wouldn’t if I were you.”

Her 11-year old son, whose name has been withheld to protect his privacy, had been struggling with up to 17 seizures a day that often left him bed-bound for weeks at a time. Now that he’s been taking cannabis oil for the past two years, he’s finally stable.


In Australia, prescriptions for cannabis patients fall under Therapeutic Goods Administration. The approval form is called a “TGA”. The TGA is submitted by a physician – in this case the boy’s neurologist - and must be re-approved every 12 months.


On Tuesday, the Perth Children’s Hospital told Suzanne that his TGA had lapsed 10 days ago and had not been renewed.


“On Tuesday, Mrs Chellen was told the neurology team would apply that day, but when she emailed the next morning to confirm it had been submitted, she was told no action had been taken.”


THE DEEP DIVE


So she did what many of these Mama Bears have done, she went to the press to get loud - - (It seems to work - I heard the news all the way in America, and am sharing it with you).


Just like Rylie Maedler’s mother in Delaware, the mothers of Charlotte Figi and Alexis Bortell in Colorado, of Eddie Thomas in New Zealand, Eddie Braun from Cheshire in the UK and Billy Caldwell’s dear Mum Charlotte in Northern Ireland. (I just received a lovely and encouraging email from Charlotte – Billy is now 16 and cannabis has kept him seizure-free for over a year!)


Back in Perth, Suzanne told WAtoday. “My child’s got two days’ worth of medicine left and if he doesn’t have it, he’s going to have multiple seizures, and he can die.”


She has little faith in the system there. She says the hospital had tried to get her son off the treatment in the past, arguing it wasn’t making enough of a difference to his health to warrant its high cost.


On Wednesday, she said “… if we don’t get this script tomorrow, I’m going to have to bring him down there and tell them to admit him into the hospital.”


It seems the hospital won’t have a choice but to give him his medicine.


Image Source: Western Australia Today


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