Medical cannabis given to Perth flu jab victim Saba Button
Saba Button is one of the first West Australians to be prescribed cannabis. SABA Button, the Perth girl left severely disabled as a baby by a faulty flu vaccine, has become one of the first West Australians to be prescribed medical cannabis.
Her mother Kirsten said the nine-year-old started taking the prescription medicine this week and early signs were encouraging.
Mrs Button said that it had been relatively straightforward getting a doctor to prescribe it because Saba’s neurologist had been treating her since she was a baby.
Medical cannabis was recently approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Saba suffered extensive brain and organ damage after she had the Fluvax shot in 2010 when she was 11 months old. She was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy from an acquired brain injury, spastic quadriplegia, epilepsy and respiratory weakness. Her parents received a multimillion-dollar payout from the State Government and CSL which made Fluvax at the time. The vaccine is no longer approved for use in young children. The family set up the charity Saba Rose Button Foundation, which helps fund rehabilitation such as physiotherapy and equipment for special needs children. Mrs Button said they hoped medical cannabis would help reduce Saba’s 10 to 15 short seizures a day and cut her use of sedatives. “The benefits are that we will be able to move away from using the more sedating anticonvulsants, which is particularly important when you’re working really hard on her rehabilitation,” she said. “When they are alert and there is more communication, that’s when growth and development can occur in the brain. “The way we look at it, the medicinal cannabis doesn’t have the THC which is the psychoactive component and can’t do any harm, and might have some real benefits.”