10 Year Old Girl Restores Brain Function with Hemp Oil

It was Ava Neville’s last hope.

Ava suffers from tuberous sclerosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes tumor growth in the brain. Tuberous sclerosis will probably never specifically be mentioned in cannabis policies. Doctors declared Ava’s condition inoperable after two failed surgeries. Before taking cannabis, the 10-year-old had the functioning cognitive ability of a three-year-old. Now, she’s reading at the level of a six-year-old and getting better all the time.

Ava’s condition causes her to have about 20 seizures a day. “We were told she was no longer a surgical candidate, so we were left with nothing,” her mother Joelle told Perth Now. “We were so desperate this time last year that I would have gone down to the corner and bought pot. I would have tried anything.” Ms Neville says she hasn’t has a full night’s rest in five years after constantly checking to see if Ava is still alive.

After giving up on over 20 anti-epileptic medications, Joelle Neville turned to hemp oil. Joelle purchased hemp oil from the US company Elixinol. Proponents of CBD oil say it re-establishes connections between brain cells. Ave needs about $550 of hemp oil per month. Ava’s school teachers were reportedly astonished at her cognitive progress. “It’s miraculous, really. She’s calm and attentive but she’s certainly not high,” Ms Neville said. The hemp oil was the only treatment that had a lasting effect on Ava.

The trouble is, any form of cannabis is illegal to possess use, manufacture, cultivate, or supply in the state of Western Australia. WA enforces the toughest cannabis laws in the country. HEMP Western Australia is a branch of Help End Marijuana Prohibition in WA. 10 grams of cannabis means two years in prison. They are focusing on ending prohibition in their state. In addition, the Neville family is currently surviving on a single income and can’t afford to increase Ava’s dosage. “We are saving the Government and taxpayer about $250,000 a year in prescription medication, respite and therapy, and yet we are having to pay,” she said. Ms Neville responded with a submission to the Australian federal inquiry into medicinal cannabis. Ms Neville says she still believes in the regulation process, however she emphasizes the urgency for medical cannabis.

Ms Neville says that regulating cannabis in Australia would save her family a fortune from having to import cannabis oil from the United States. Her grandfather MP Paul Neville weighed in as well adding “When you see people with particular medical needs that are not being fulfilled by conventional drugs, I don’t think you can approach it with a closed mind”. Paul Neville says he was against cannabis until he saw with his own eyes what it did for his granddaughter.

Labour Leader Mark McGowan is among those supporting the prescription of cannabis under strict medical supervision. Ava’s story should be enough to make a case for medical cannabis in Western Australia.