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Cannabis oil a saviour for Warrnambool epilepsy sufferer

LIFECHANGING TREATMENT: Emilee Mulready suffers less seizures and has a new lease on life now that she takes cannabis oil to treat her epilepsy. Picture: Anthony Brady

Cannabis oil has given Emilee Mulready a new lease on life.

The 17-year-old suffers from a rare form of epilepsy - lennox-gastaut syndrome.

The syndrome is characterised by multiple different types of seizures, particularly tonic (stiffening) and atonic (drop) seizures.

Her grandmother Heather Mulready said Emilee's quality of life before she began taking cannabis oil was poor, as she was suffering up to 10 seizures a day.

"She was having 10 - sometimes more, sometimes less - but on average 10 seizures a day," Mrs Mulready said.

Emilee would be rushed to hospital if the seizures were serious.

"At one stage she was in an ambulance every week for about 13 weeks in a row," Mrs Mulready said.

Professor Ingrid Scheffer from the Melbourne Brain Centre suggested Emilee go onto a medically supervised ketogenic diet in a bid to control the seizures.

Mrs Mulready witnessed positive changes in Emilee when she went on the diet but she was still suffering a high number of seizures.

"After the ketogenic diet she started doing more things, she started learning more, she was brighter and more alert. But the seizures didn't stop."

Professor Scheffer told Mrs Mulready Emilee might be a good candidate for the centre's cannabis trial.

The cannabis oil is applied to her skin three times a day, resulting in a change in behaviour and a huge reduction in the number of seizures she suffers.

"For her it has been brilliant," Mrs Mulready said.

"She's having maybe one to two seizures a month compared to 10 a day."

Mrs Mulready said Emilee now loved school, attending football and cricket matches with her carers, painting and completing puzzles.

"She can do so much more now - her life is so much better," she said.

Emilee is no longer on a trial for the cannabis oil.

She has it funded on compassionate grounds but has to reapply for this funding every 12 months.

Mrs Mulready said she was hopeful her granddaughter would continue to qualify for funding because the cost of the cannabis oil is upwards of $30,000 a year.

She said the cannabis oil had changed her granddaughter's life. Mrs Mulready encouraged anyone who had a child with epilepsy to look into joining a cannabis oil trial. Originally published here:

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