Cannabis helped marie Fleming in ways that prescribed pain medication could not, her long-term partner revealed this morning.
Tom Curran told TV3′s Ireland AM that the illegal drug had a “very positive effect” on Marie as she battled with Multiple Sclerosis.
“Rather than buying it on the street, I bought seeds on the internet and I grew it for Marie and the results were incredible,” he explained.
“The pain relief, the spasms and also to be perfectly honest, the lifting of her mood so it helped her in lots of ways that the pain control drugs just weren’t able to do.”
He said that Marie smoked the cannabis, rather than bake it.
“You could see within two minutes of her taking it, her limbs stopped shaking, the pain relief, you could see the anxiousness in her was gone because the pain was dissipating. It was remarkable. It became part of our routine, if that’s the way to put it, yeah.”
Curran revealed the details during an interview with Sinéad Desmond and Anton Savage as part of a campaign for a new drug Frampya to be made freely available to those with MS.
The drug can cost up to €500 per month and is not part of the General Medical Scheme so sufferers would have to meet the cost themselves.
“How much is a person’s life worth? How much is the benefit of something like this to people? Not only will it help them and will it relieve their symptoms but they can stay a productive part of society,” argued Curran. “They can still work. They can still contribute to society and they’re not dependent on the state then for assistance so its saving in the long run, it’s not just a cost.”
Frampya has been given to a number of patients by its manufacturer, Biogen Idec for the past two years. But this arrangement is due to end later in the month, resulting in patients reverting back to previous states of immobility.
Curran believes the stress of this alone will have a detrimental effect.
“I know from dealing with Marie that stress was one of the biggest problems with MS. Any time Marie got stressed, she had a relapse. When there was a major stress in her life, it meant a major relapse and these people are being put under enormous stress by the state and it’s very possible that that will advance their MS and make it more difficult for them.”
Asked about his current health and wellbeing, Curran, who ran as a candidate in the local elections, said he was sad and missed Marie terribly.
Everybody who loses somebody they love goes through this. I’m not unique so yeah, I loved her so of course I miss her. Sorry, I love her.”
Marie Fleming passed away last year. She had become a household name after losing a landmark Supreme Court challenge for the right to an assisted suicide.