VANCOUVER – Michelle Arnold says she’s seen cannabis oil save two lives — hers and her husband’s.
Now, she’s fighting for the chance to see if it can save her four-and-a-half-month-old daughter, who is clinging to life in a Vancouver hospital.
“I can’t just give up when I’ve seen hope,” Arnold said tearfully outside B.C. Supreme Court on Friday.
“If there is a medicine out there … that can help her, that can make her my child, then I will do it. I will do whatever I can to give it to her.”
Arnold and her husband Justin Pierce are both 21 and suffer from epilepsy, for which they take cannabis oil. They are seeking a court order to gain more control over medical decisions in the care of their baby.
The couple wants doctors to resume treating her with cannabis oil — even though a lawyer for B.C. Women’s Hospital said it might have worsened her symptoms. Pierce said doctors recently stopped administering the oil to Mary Jane, even though he claims an ingredient in marijuana — cannabidiol or CBD — was helping to control her seizures.
Mary Jane Pierce was born premature at 25 weeks and has been in hospital ever since with serious health problems including brain bleeding, cerebral palsy and severe seizures.
The Chilliwack couple alleges the Ministry of Children and Family Development pressured them into giving it temporary custody about two weeks ago and moved to remove the baby’s ventilator soon after.
A judge granted a temporary injunction last week to keep the child on life support, and at a hearing on Friday the ministry agreed not to take her off the machine without the couple’s consent or another court order.
The parents are set to return to court next month to seek greater control of their daughter’s care.