Pubdate: Mon, 20 Apr 2015
Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Copyright: 2015 Herald and Weekly Times
Author: Chanel Kinniburgh
Page: 10


THE family of a four-year-old boy has welcomed news that the State
Government plans to fund the use of medicinal cannabis in a trial for
people suffering terminal or life-threatening illnesses.

Nationally recognised as one of the most controversial cases
surrounding the use of the drug, young epileptic Cooper Wallace, with
his family, stood tall in light of the announcement.

"It's exciting. We just hope that the laws can change quick enough for
children like Cooper, and we're not left waiting," his mother, Cassie
Batten, said.

Cooper's progress and having the chance to pave the way for other
families suffering a similar fate was worth the battle they had faced,
Ms Batten said.

"He couldn't sit, he couldn't crawl, he couldn't eat or drink orally.
He was in hospital for over 200 days one year, and the longest he was
home was only 16 days," she said.

"He had no quality of life at all. Now he is having, on average, 15-20
days a year in hospital, he is off a lot of pharmaceutical medication,
he is crawling, sitting, beginning to stand, so he's doing very well."

The family is not certain if Cooper will participate in trial but said
it was a great stepping stone for regulating the drug.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the Government would work toward
legalising the use of medicinal cannabis for families like Cooper's if
the trial proved to make a significant difference. "I was convinced by
their (Cooper's) experience that medicinal cannabis works," he said.

The trial is expected to begin in mid-2016.
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