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Follow-up: Eddy Thomas, New Zealand

As a follow-up to our story "Mother's Day" we followed the story of Katy Thomas and her son Eddy, in the New Zealand media.

In a story titled, "Boy, 6, with Life-Threatening Condition Cut Off from Legal CBD Medication Because of 'Broken' Drug Law", we learned that Eddy, who suffers from generalized nocturnal tonic chlonic seizure disorder, which means, if untreated, as soon as he falls asleep he wakes up in terror, then starts having convulsions, overheating and is unable to breathe (at worst, he'd have seizures spaced 30 seconds apart for hours) has a legal prescription of CBD-heavy cannabis medication that is free of THC. but that his medicine was confiscated by Customs. Apparently that event was a bit earlier than we had been led to believe, and occurred in March of this year. The medicine was eventually released to the family after more than a month of battling the health department authorities. During this time young Eddy suffered many seizures and told his mother he didn't want to die.

There are only 2 approved CBD medications made in New Zealand and neither one works for Eddy, so the Thomas family has spent thousands of dollars importing the one that works.

"[His mother] said her son has been put in a "really life threatening situation just because we've got bureaucrats administering a law that's supposed to be putting patients' safety and accessibility at the heart of it and it's just gone backwards, we're so much more worse off than we were before the law came in".

The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Act was passed in December 2018. The amendment gives patients in palliative care the right to possess and use cannabis while also providing them with a defence to possess and use even illegal cannabis.

Thomas said even though her son isn't a terminally ill patient, being cut off from his medication in March "just flies against any kind of health and safety protocol for a tonne of patients but especially epileptics with his seizure type".

"It just means we are left in the space between and it's still a life-threatening condition and people with chronic pain deserve to have their needs met as well. There's just this enormous inequality across the patient population, we say some patients are more equal than other patients and I just think it's not fair, it's not good enough."

An ongoing mess for the suffering Thomas family.


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