New Ross Standard - - FRONT PAGE - By DAVID LOOBY

THE fa­ther of a New Ross boy who suf­fers from daily epilep­tic seizures has won the right to ac­cess cannabis oil to re­lieve his son’s pain on a trial ba­sis, hav­ing launched a cam­paign through this news­pa­per,

Asseel Os­man, 4, also suf­fers from cere­bral palsy and has daily seizures which can be as fre­quent as ev­ery seven min­utes. His par­ents Zara and Mahad launched a cam­paign to get the HSE to pro­vide Asseel with cannabis oil, say­ing with­out it his body will de­te­ri­o­rate rapidly. Mahad had a fruit­ful meeting with Asseel’s con­sul­tant last Wed­nes­day, paving the way for ac­cess to the cannabis oil.

THE par­ents of a four-year-old New Ross boy, who ap­pealed through this news­pa­per to Min­is­ter for Health Si­mon Har­ris to al­low them to use cannabis oil to re­lieve his pain, have been told they can do a trial test us­ing the oil.

Asseel Os­man suf­fers from cere­bral palsy and has daily epilep­tic seizures which can be as fre­quent as ev­ery seven min­utes. He is one of the only chil­dren in Ire­land to be com­pletely bed bound as he is un­able to sit up­right.

His par­ents Zara and Mahad launched a cam­paign last week to get the HSE to pro­vide Asseel with cannabis oil, say­ing with­out it his body will de­te­ri­o­rate to the ex­tent he will never have any com­fort or qual­ity of life. Mahad trav­elled to see Asseel’s con­sul­tant, Dr David Webb at Tal­laght Hospi­tal on Wed­nes­day with a copy of his lo­cal news­pa­per and spoke of his frus­tra­tions with the doc­tor.

Asseel had an ECG and Mahad and Zara had been wait­ing months for the re­sults, adding to their frus­tra­tion.

Ex­press­ing con­cern that the only rea­son his se­ri­ously ill son was be­ing de­prived cannabis oil was due to the cost – which can run into the thou­sands – Mahad said Dr Webb fur­nished him with a let­ter say­ing that he doesn’t have any other so­lu­tion to Asseel’s med­i­cal prob­lems.

‘ They tried ev­ery med­i­ca­tion on him. Dr Webb said he can’t ap­ply for a li­cence for medic­i­nal cannabis for As­sel yet. First I have to buy the cannabis oil abroad and bring it back and an ECG test will be taken af­ter three months. Af­ter­wards, when the cannabis oil is found to be ef­fec­tive, he will ap­ply for the li­cence.’

Mahad said he doesn’t mind hav­ing to travel to Ger­many in the com­ing days to buy the oil so long as his son can feel some re­lief.

Hav­ing de­vel­oped cere­bral palsy and epilepsy due to com­pli­ca­tions dur­ing his birth in Wex­ford Gen­eral Hospi­tal on March 11, 2014, Asseel came un­der the care of neu­rol­ogy spe­cial­ist Dr Brian Lynch in Tem­ple Street Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal from the ten­der age of five months.

In early 2015 Asseel be­came ex­tremely ill. He spent pe­ri­ods hos­pi­talised in both Tem­ple Street and Water­ford Re­gional Hospi­tal. At one stage he was awake for seventy two hours and was con­stantly cry­ing.

Ha­mad and Zara were told by doc­tors that due to the ex­ten­sive level of brain dam­age he suf­fered, there were no real op­tions avail­able that could im­prove his con­di­tion and that would re­al­is­ti­cally en­hance his life. The fam­ily were forced to travel to Giessen and Mar­burg hospi­tal, in Lim­bruck, Ger­many.

To date only eight peo­ple in Ire­land have been granted a li­cence to be able to use the oil. Mahad said he need to go to ‘a se­cure doc­tor and not just buy it from a shop’.

Mahad said he has done ev­ery­thing in his power to help Asseel, whom he had to hold over a two-and-a-half year pe­riod to pre­vent him in­jur­ing him­self. He plans to use ei­ther CBD or THC oil on Asseel.

‘Which­ever makes him more com­fort­able. Zara and I are happy. Asseel hasn’t been sleep­ing much at all. When we hear him wake at 4 or 5 a.m. we get up and we also have very lit­tle sleep.’

Asseel’s phys­io­ther­a­pist and oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist have writ­ten to the min­is­ter de­scrib­ing how much im­proved Asseel was when he was be­ing given cannabis oil.

Mahad said hear­ing that his son can once again have the oil has been like a weight lifted off his and Zara’s shoul­ders.

‘Our doors have opened up now and there is hope for our son who is a beau­ti­ful, so­cia­ble 4-year-old boy who de­serves a rich and full life like any other child in Ire­land. He is de­prived of any qual­ity of life due to the cur­rent leg­is­la­tion re­gard­ing medic­i­nal cannabis. The grant­ing of a li­cence to my son means ev­ery­thing to us,’ he said in last week’s ar­ti­cle.

Asseel’s par­ents have now been fight­ing for more than two years to ac­cess a li­cence for the med­i­ca­tion he des­per­ately needs. They have been up­dated on the re­quire­ments by Min­is­ter Har­ris’s of­fice.

‘With­out cannabis oil Asseel can­not use a wheel­chair as his body is in spasm. This also causes him to twist un­com­fort­ably when ly­ing down, dam­ag­ing his spine and limbs. He is con­fined to bed 24 hours a day and has to be drip fed. This is no life for Asseel, and it is dev­as­tat­ing for us to wit­ness his con­stant dis­tress with no means of help­ing him.’

The trauma of see­ing his brother in agony was too much for Asseel’s younger brother who now lives mostly with ex­tended fam­ily. Zara and Mahad hope that Asseel can once again avail of phys­io­ther­apy, a di­eti­tian or oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy when he starts tak­ing the oil again. Wex­ford Peo­ple Be­fore Profit’s Su­san Breen has set up a Facebook page called ‘Hope For Asseel’ where up­dates will be posted.

Four-year-old Asseel Os­man.

Asseel Os­man with his fa­ther Mahad. IN­SET: last week’s New Ross Stan­dard.

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