A mum from Wollongong has made a desperate plea to try and save the life of her eight-year-old daughter.
In an emotional change.org petition, Yvonne Cooper explains that her daughter Sienna, suffers from up to 100 life-threatening seizures a day, and is currently unable to access the medication she needs.
“Last night I spent the evening watching my little girl gasping for air, unable to breathe, another night of thinking I was about to lose her,” she writes.
“Every seizure is a step closer to death. I have had to watch her cognitive ability decline, going from an IQ of 90-100 to a range from 41-52.
“She has been diagnosed with a severe intellectual disability.”
Yvonne has taken her daughter to five specialists and says she’s currently on eight different medications, but the seizures are continuing, and causing more irreparable damage to Sienna’s organs every day.
“I’m beside myself,” Yvonne says.
“Doctors say they’ve tried everything - the only option left is medicinal cannabis…. [but] red tape is leaving Sienna’s doctors unable to fast track her lifesaving access to [it].”
Despite being legal in the state of NSW, medicinal cannabis is not readily available.
There aren’t very many legal suppliers in Australia and legislation has recently passed to try and make it easier to import the drug from overseas, but this hasn’t trickled through yet.
“Right now we are being forced to sit back and watch our baby girl dying in front of us and not a single doctor in NSW can help us,” Yvonne writes.
“This is cruel and devastating.”
Her petition hopes to get the attention of the NSW Health Minister. When contacted by Be about this story, a NSW Health spokesperson said they were unable to comment on specific cases.
They say in a statement however that, “In recognising that there is not currently a safe, ready supply of locally-produced medicinal cannabis products, the Commonwealth Minister for Health announced last month measures to enable the controlled importation by approved providers of product from international sources.
“This will facilitate faster access by authorised prescribers for patients with the necessary approvals.”
Yvonne is hoping to get 75k signatures for her petition, she currently has 56k.