Mum begs for epileptic Shania to take part in cannabis trial
BOORAL'S Shania Duncan has suffered epileptic fits on a daily basis for the past six years.
But there's a glimmer of hope for the 16-year-old now she is on a waiting list to be chosen for clinical trials of medicinal cannabis.
Shania's mother Melissa hopes the trials will help her daughter, who is currently medicated on a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs that have rendered her physically numb, tired and unable to learn.
If Shania is chosen to participate, it could be a game-changer.
Melissa and Shania both hope cannabis is the treatment they have been searching for.
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Tiredness, tingling in her hands and feet and an inability to retain information are just some of the symptoms Shania has experienced from the different anti-seizure medication and combinations she has been on.
Her mother Melissa said it would be good to find a more natural treatment for her daughter, with less side-affect.
"Cannabis can't do any more harm than the medications she is on at the moment," she said.
"Shania has to have blood tests every month to make sure her liver hasn't been damaged from them."
While natural therapies appeal to both daughter and mother, Melissa said the treatments had the approval of her daughter's neurologist.
"The cannabis will either be in pill form or as an oil extract to be consumed without the addictive properties," Melissa said.
"But even if it works, she will still have to remain on one medication which helps prevent the types of seizures which cause brain damage."
When Shania first began having seizures, both her mum and school teachers decided for her to repeat grade seven.
"But then her seizures just got progressively worse and so we just continued her education as per normal," Melissa said.
"When she's at school and at home by herself she has to have an aid with her."