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Cheri O'Connell with daughter Tara and son Sean.

Most parents will go to great lengths to help their children. Cheri O’Connell, who is a mother who resides in Victoria, Australia, is an example of a mother who went the extra mile for her epileptic child. O’Connell felt like she was out of options. Her eight-year old daughter Tara had severe epilepsy and she was having up to 60 seizures in one day. Tara was taking several pharmaceutical drugs, but they were not helping. Her condition continued to get worse. She had problems walking and speaking. Additionally, doctors had told Tara’s family to prepare for the worst.

Tara’s mother was desperate. She could not stand to see her daughter suffer anymore. She began to do research on medical marijuana and found that it had many benefits. Medical marijuana is not legal in Victoria, and the government has no intention of changing the law. Cheri stated, “We had to break the law or watch her die.”

Cheri began giving her daughter THC-A, which is also known as the liquid form of marijuana. Tara’s recovery was nothing short of remarkable. Her seizures have stopped, and she has had a major improvement in her overall quality of life. Before Tara was given medical marijuana, she was not able to walk properly. Today, she is able to get around without using her wheelchair. Tara also had problems writing before she was given medical marijuana. Today, Tara’s mother says that her daughter is a “budding artist.”

Not only did the medical marijuana help Tara make a miraculous recovery, but she was able to recover without any serious side effects. Fatigue and increased appetite were the only side effects that Tara experienced while she was given marijuana. Despite the fact that the government in Victoria does not seem to have any interest in medical marijuana, Tara’s amazing recovery has prompted many researchers to test the effectiveness of medical marijuana.

Wayne Pfeiffer is the general manager of client services for Epilepsy Australia. He stated that many families have been interested in trying medical marijuana to treat epilepsy, but he cannot recommend because it is not legal. It is estimated that seven out of 10 people who use medications for epilepsy will be able to get relief. The 30 percent of people who still suffer from seizures despite the fact that they are taking medications are looking for something that is both safe and effective.

When Cheri was asked about what prompted her to make the difficult decision to give her daughter the medical marijuana she replied by saying, “The side effect of not giving her the drug was death. We have now passed the 12-month mark and she is healthier than ever. We just thought, what else do we have to do?” She decided that the consequences of breaking the law was worth in order to save her daughter. Tara was taking eight pharmaceutical drugs every day before she received the medical marijuana.

More parents are turning to medical marijuana to help their epileptic children. A mother from Melbourne gave medical marijuana to her 18-month son who had been suffering from seizures. She was hesitant at first, but she noticed a major difference in her son within 15 minutes of administering the first dose. The toddler was able to track things with his eyes for the first time. She believes that the laws should change so that she will be able to access the drug legally.



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