One Nation candidate for Longman Matthew Stephen visiting Katrina Spraggon and her daughter Kaitlyn. Picture: Glenn Hunt
The One Nation campaign in Longman is receiving support from an unlikely source: a mother fighting the Queensland government over the cannabis oil she gives to her chronically ill daughter.
Katrina Spraggon, whose daughter Kaitlyn suffers severe epileptic seizures, has been trying to get much-needed surgery for the 10-year-old but health officials won’t let her use the cannabis oil in their hospitals.
She supported One Nation in last year’s state election after the party took up her cause, and speaking after a horror morning where Kaitlyn had eight seizures, Ms Spraggon backed its candidate in Longman, Matthew Stephen.
“Every candidate for One Nation has been a big support for my family,” Ms Spraggon said.
One Nation last year backed a Greens bill — which was passed in the Senate — allowing medicinal cannabis to be provided more quickly and easily.
In Kaitlyn’s case, the cannabis concentrate used to alleviate the pain and seizures is brewed at home by her mother.
Health officials had initially turned a blind eye to the use of the drug, before arguing it could not be used at hospital during surgery for the girl.
Ms Spraggon has since sought an exemption to allow the oil to be used in hospital, before and after Kaitlyn is operated on.
“She’s just been having so many seizures because of her pain. Before going on cannabis, she was having seizures every day (or) every second day,”
Ms Spraggon said.“When we put her on cannabis, the seizures were probably every couple of weeks. But if she has an increase in pain, her seizures are all over the place.”
Ms Spraggon said health authorities had tried to find other products that could be used, but she was worried about taking her off the homemade oil.
Major surgeries, including for her back and hips, have been delayed by several months because of the impasse.
Ms Spraggon said the director-general of the Health Department, Michael Walsh, has spoken to her about any replacements.
Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles confirmed the director-general had met Ms Spraggon this month.
“Queensland Health clinicians are committed to making sure Ms Spraggon’s daughter receives the best possible care. Every decision Queensland Health clinicians make is focused on one thing — getting the best possible result for the patient,’’ Mr Miles said.
Originally published here: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/katrina-spraggon-backs-one-nation-over-support-of-cannabis-oil-for-daughter-kaitlyn/news-story/36ffe23889b8a08f18e2515cebde5e49