A Louth mother-of-four has told how her two-year-old girl started walking and talking for the first time after taking cannabis oil.
Lynda Bannon from Dundalk was despairing over the poor health over her daughter Zoe, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, when she found an American support group online.
Many of the parents in the group were singing the praises of CBD oil, so she decided to give it a try herself first.
â€śI suffer from bad anxiety and IBS so I decided to try the CBD oil,â€ť she told RSVP Live.
â€śI saw such great benefits from it that I was able to come off my anti-anxiety medication.
â€śI knew it was time to try it on Zoe.â€ť
Before taking CBD oil, Zoe wasnâ€™t able to do much apart from sit up.
Within weeks of her new treatment, she took her first steps and was able to talk, sing and count to ten.
â€śShe just came alive,â€ť said Lynda. â€śItâ€™s unbelievable, it’s completely changed her life.
â€śEvery week we see improvements. Before the CBD oil she would never leave her parentsâ€™ side, now she wants to go out and play with her sisters.
â€śShe can eat solid food for the first time and we were able to take her off her bowel medication.
â€śI donâ€™t think thereâ€™s a day that goes by that she doesnâ€™t make us cry with happiness.â€ť
One of the most touching moments in Zoeâ€™s journey was when Lyndaâ€™s mother got her dying wish of seeing her walk for the first time.
â€śMy mother passed away recently and from the moment Zoe was diagnosed, her wish was to see her walking. We never thought that would be possible, but her dream came true,â€ť she continued.
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Lynda admits she was afraid to try the controversial treatment.
â€śIreland can be a bit backwards with things and itâ€™s such a taboo here,â€ť she explained.
â€śI was afraid – do I tell people that Iâ€™m giving her cannabis oil? Does it sound wrong?
â€śI thought I would get a backlash but Iâ€™ve actually got nothing but positive responses.â€ť
Does she have any advice for other parents considering giving their child CBD oil?
â€śIâ€™d advise anyone, even parents of kids on the autistic spectrum, just to give it a go,â€ť she said.
â€śIâ€™ve seen no negative side effects whatsoever.
â€śIâ€™ll never ever take Zoe off the oil.â€ť
Zoeâ€™s parents are trying to raise â‚¬100,000 for a life-changing surgery in the US that could get rid of the spasticity in her muscles.
You can donate on their Go Fund Me page here.